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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.18%
Worth A Look: 13.24%
Just Average: 4.41%
Pretty Crappy: 32.35%

4 reviews, 44 user ratings

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Left Behind: The Movie
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by Robert Flaxman

"Scare Tactics: The Movie."
1 stars

Itís nothing new for a film to be made solely to represent a specific ideology. The work of the Soviet montage filmmakers is a solid group of examples; more recently, Mel Gibsonís The Passion of the Christ proved to be manna from heaven for those who agreed with its chosen position. However, such films are also the work of talented filmmakers. Left Behind: The Movie is not. Brutally awful from beginning to end, it is not just a bad film Ė it also takes its chosen message and flails away at the viewer mercilessly for 90 minutes.

Hereís the main problem with Left Behindís thesis: itís a cheap, obvious scare tactic. The plot is this: suddenly, for no reason, millions of people disappear from the face of the earth. Where have they gone? Why, theyíre up with God now, in Heaven! Those who have been taken were, of course, the true believers.

But Left Behind doesnít talk about how great being taken in the Rapture would be. Instead, it focuses on how awful it would be to be one of the titular people. The main characters (including reporter Buck Williams, played by Kirk Cameron, and pilot Rayford Steele, played by Brad Johnson) are not faithful individuals, so they were left behind; the horror of this situation leads them into having faith, perhaps hoping their numbers will be called when itís time for Rapture 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Many religions tout the rewards of living a pious, virtuous life, but Left Behind isnít concerned with that. Sure, it suggests that having been taken constitutes a ďreward,Ē but we donít see anything like that. For the movie, and thus for the viewer, itís about trying to avoid hell on earth. Its characters only turn faithful after being punished for unbelief.

Still, its dogmatic message isnít the only awful thing about Left Behind. Itís got plot holes you could drive an ark through, for one. At the beginning of the film, some (presumably Arab) nation attacks Israel, only to see their planes get blown from the sky, apparently by some divine force, and an old, bearded man shows up to predict doom. This is never explained. Buck grabs a camera and starts taping himself in front of the action, which is somehow broadcast live to his studio in New York even though the camera isnít connected to anything Ė and in the studio, dozens of people watch with rapt attention. Is there a switch on Buckís camera that makes everyone meet in front of a TV whenever he turns it on?

Then thereís its bizarre political message. Left Behind apparently thinks that the United Nations is a potential front for the Antichrist. Uniting all nations together in harmony? No, thatís bad! World peace is the start of our doom! Iím not sure what the filmmakers would offer as an alternative, especially since the general idea is presumably that peace would be the end result of Armageddon and the defeat of the forces of evil, and not its cause.

Then again, it doesnít really matter one way or the other, does it? Left Behind begs the question spectacularly Ė Buck at one point responds to the citation of Bible passages as evidence, ďThis is all very compelling,Ē as though trying to use the movieís situations as proof of their own possibility Ė but it hardly seems like it needs to. Is such a film really going to win any new converts, or is the audience for this movie mostly the sort of people who already believe wholeheartedly in everything it endorses?

Iím betting itís the latter, which makes the attempt at scaring people into belief all the more embarrassing. The film is so shoddily done that itís impossible to imagine anyone falling for its gambit even if such tactics were convincing, which they arenít. That the agenda is transparently idiotic doesnít make it any less poisonous, however.

Between its bad acting, terrible writing and even worse ideas, Left Behind has the killer trifecta going. Iím fairly certain itís the worst movie Iíve ever seen, which may or may not mean itís the worst ever made. Either way, itís undoubtedly one of the stupidest.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4703&reviewer=385
originally posted: 11/26/05 18:40:56
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User Comments

3/01/19 Broseph: King of Memes Beam me up, Jesus! 1 stars
4/02/08 ABE BURROWS Sorry for those who don't get it! 5 stars
4/22/07 Steven Spielberg Fantastic! 5 stars
1/09/07 David Pollastrini could have been good with a big budget 3 stars
11/15/06 David Cohen Only works if you don;t realize that the rapture has no biblical support whatsoever 1 stars
10/09/06 Jeff This is a horrible movie, it sucked balls. 1 stars
12/31/05 Tanya makes you think 3 stars
12/20/05 Carolyn Rathburn Intreging, it is worth a look 4 stars
11/28/05 hibbyX Moronic Christian pap...only retards need apply. 1 stars
8/26/05 Michael A good wake up. Lack of ending though. 5 stars
3/01/05 megean this is a great movie a must see for christians 5 stars
2/24/05 jason totally cool it tells the truth about what will happen to the world. 5 stars
5/06/04 france G great movie! 5 stars
4/14/04 leena im 15 n find the film amazing with such hope!..and Kirk IS doing d right thing! 5 stars
1/22/04 Cathy Laws A terriffic movie makes you think 5 stars
1/08/04 Dear Tawyn Budget can't buy a good script or actors (PS the matrix sucked too) 2 stars
1/03/04 Edward B. I tried to read the series but sadly, it sucked as much as this pice of crap film 1 stars
10/20/03 Charles Tatum Hurried and miscast, too cheap to be affective 1 stars
4/17/03 Jack Sommersby Sometimes it's interesting, mostly it's ludicrous. Cameron is classically miscast. 2 stars
2/13/03 Uncle Salty If only I could drown myself... 1 stars
11/04/02 Vicious Quothe the Maynard: "Fuck your god!" 1 stars
2/06/02 EnronWeTrust My copy is still unopened. I'll take a nickel for it. 1 stars
10/13/01 Dan Books are great. Movie was OK but left out too much. 4 stars
6/26/01 Tawyn Loved the books, enjoyed the movie -don't expect a Speilberg!! They don't have his budget. 4 stars
6/15/01 joe I thought the movie and books were great. For ppl who thought it was bad, your loss. 5 stars
4/09/01 Gary This movie is soo boring. I love the books, but the movie is just bad. 2 stars
3/21/01 Del R If I could conjure up a picture of the Anti-Christ, he would be carpathia 4 stars
2/22/01 JDeak97 Best Movie of the Year 4 stars
2/14/01 Steve Burstall Not as good as the series, but worth watching 4 stars
2/12/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi A subtle-as-a-jackhammer "right way is the right way" tripe. 1 stars
2/12/01 SJ Gave me physical pains 1 stars
2/07/01 Nut Not even bad enough for those who look to the loony religious right for voyeuristic fun. 1 stars
2/06/01 Turtle Pretty good on all counts. 3 stars
2/05/01 andrew The opening was good but the cinamitagraghy went down hill from there on 2 stars
2/05/01 Ghost072 You do realize this WAS a Movie of the Week, right? 1 stars
2/05/01 David W. Hillery The movie was great. The religion was simple, for those not up on the Bible. Good message. 4 stars
2/05/01 Anthony Carter It's those who revel in movie fantasy and hedonism that are the real weak-minded fools. 4 stars
2/04/01 keith fundamentalists amuse me - the ones in the theater with me thought this crap was "deep" 1 stars
2/04/01 JDavis Thinly disguised dogma designed to scare weak-minded fools into church 1 stars
2/02/01 Johnny Bravo I don't want to hear about this Christian, Bible propaganda BULLSHIT!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/02/01 Gar Great story carried to the big screen by well-intentioned but not quite convincing actors. 4 stars
2/02/01 HANK DRAKE We're talking Plan 9 From Outer Space BAD> 1 stars
1/30/01 Lee Great Film, must see, keeps you on the edge of your seat! 5 stars
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  02-Feb-2001 (PG-13)



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