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Left Behind

Cage (right) and Nicky Whelan Stoney Lake Entertainment

Left Behind
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The new Left Behind is a watchable film with mostly solid acting that follows a proven Hollywood formula for the disaster-adventure film by replacing the typical ecological or terrorism-related disaster with the Rapture.

The movie focuses on the aftermath of an event where millions of people disappear “in the blink of an eye.” Secular productions like HBO’s The Leftovers have recently tapped the drama of that powerful hypothetical, but novelists Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins did it first with their successful fictionalized version of life post-Rapture.

Paul Lalonde, who produced and helped write both this remake and the 2000 version, told the New York Post his goal is to be less “preachy” in the new version. He succeeded in that goal, but not everyone will love the result. It is a bold and honest move to leave many of the main characters still in doubt about God’s goodness at the end of the film, but it will be controversial.

It also makes the characters more real and recognizable than those in far too many movies released previously by Christian film companies. Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) and her father Ray (Nicolas Cage) are flawed people who rage at God and at Irene (Lea Thompson), the wife and mother who “drank the Kool-Aid” by accepting Jesus.

The actual plot of the film hinges on Ray Steele’s ability to land a plane after the majority of his crew and air traffic control have disappeared. It’s a fairly flimsy premise, though no flimsier than plenty of summer blockbusters, and the suspense feels real, as does the terror of being left behind.

The movie is rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, violence/peril, and brief drug content. Though it is a very mild PG-13, the majority of the film dwells on the threat of violence in the streets or airplane aisles, and the theology will likely prompt explaining.

Alicia M. Cohn Alicia is a former WORLD contributor.


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