Tuesday, October 7, 2014

This Christian’s Review of the New Movie: Left Behind

I am a true fan of the Left Behind book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. They are exciting, thought provoking, and have a decent Biblical content. LaHaye and Jenkins are also know for writing other Biblical books, such as Are We Living in End Times? So when my friend Laura and I went to see the new Left Behind movie, starring Nicholas Cage, I expected to see an exciting movie about the Rapture; about God; about the importance of salvation and a real relationship with Jesus Christ.
Well, that isn’t what I got. I don’t want to write this with movie spoilers for any of you who haven’t yet seen this movie but plan to. However, I will say that I found most of the acting to be subpar. I am a biased Nicholas Cage fan; he is actually one of my favorite actors; loved Face Off and Family Man! But it seemed like maybe he just wasn’t all that into this role. He normally dives into, and becomes his character. Not so in this film. I was surprised that “ladies man” Chad Michael Murray actually gave the best performance out of this cast.
Being a devout fiction reader, I am used to seeing my favorite books made into movies, only to be consistently disappointed. The thing that bugs me the most about the book to screen process, especially for Christian and young adult fiction is the sexualization and secularization of them.  The screenwriters take a book and add things to it that they think will make it more appealing to today’s audience. Unfortunately the family sitting in front of me at this film was comprised of grandparents and an adolescent grandson. I was embarrassed for them because they brought their young grandson to see a “family friendly” movie and he was exposed to cocaine use, adultery, heroine use and track marks, oh and an obscene joke. Don’t get me wrong, Christians sin. We also know these things exist in the world. My problem is that the books don’t emphasize these things and yet they were put into the movie.
When the movie was over my friend and I both said that Left Behind was more an action movie about landing a plane than it was about God. I would go so far as to say that God was an afterthought in this film. I can remember watching the original Left Behind series 14 years ago, and I was much more impressed way back then. I am not sure if there will be a sequel to this particular remake or not, as there are many books in the Left Behind series, but I pray that for the sake of our nation, they emphasize God, salvation, and the reality of the Rapture. 

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