Left Behind Should’ve Stayed Left Behind

Left Behind Should've Stayed Left Behind

Garrett Wheeler, Opinions Editor

This movie, right from the beginning, worried me. First off, the director is Vic Armstrong, who is a stunt coordinator. Second, it stars Nicholas Cage, who is one of the most unpredictable actors ever. Third, the composer is Jack Lenz, who composed for a TV show titled Little Mosque on the Prairie. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, then I don’t know what does. I went into this movie with an open mind, ready for anything that’s thrown at me. However, I was not expecting this.

Left Behind is a movie based on the book of the same name written by Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye, Paul Lalonde, and John Patus. The movie stars Nicholas Cage as Rayford Steele, Cassi Thomson as Chloe Steele, and Chad Michael Murry as Buck Williams. In Left Behind, people are just living normal lives when all of a sudden, half of the people of the world vanish. It’s up to these people who were “left behind” to guess why they disappeared while trying to land Rayford’s broken plane. Yeah, that’s pretty much the plot.

Now let me explain something. This is a faith based movie and I’m not trying to insult anyone’s faith with this review. In fact, I myself am a Christian. And this movie sucks. It’s bad.

One of the reasons this movie sucks is the acting. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t awful, but it certainly isn’t very good. Lots of the lines feel very forced and are delivered with very little emotion, and with little emotion is being displayed, it feels forced. In all honesty, I think Nic Cage did the best job out of anyone else in this movie, but even his delivery felt weak.

The acting didn’t help the characters be anymore likeable. Everyone felt bland, one dimensional, and very uninteresting. I didn’t care about anyone’s pain, anyone’s drama, or anyone’s sadness. It all just felt flat.

The cinematography was very inconsistent. Many of the shots taken looked very bland and lifeless with no colors to pop out at the viewer. Also, the camera would do things that made the movie look very disjointed. For example, there is some turbulence on the plane and one of the characters is taking pictures of all the spots where the people who vanished were sitting. While this is happening, the camera is shaking rapidly, visualizing the turbulence on the plane. Then the guy sees a “damsel in distress” and kneels down so that he can confront her. When this happens, the camera becomes still again. After that scene is over, the camera starts shaking again. It’s things like that that makes this movie have very little consistency.

For the first two acts of Left Behind, the movie is very boring. Nothing interesting happens, except for when people vanish and the world turns into the purge because why not? However, when this happens, the movie lacks tension, making the viewer not care about what’s at stake and also makes the movie really boring for a while. Thankfully, by the third act, there’s a little more tension, and it makes things decently entertaining. The final act of the movie is the best part of the movie because it’s generic, mindless fun, but it isn’t enough to save Left Behind’s life.

There are a couple things that would help make Left Behind less boring in the first two-thirds. First, the director should’ve cut a lot of the back-story. For the first 25 minutes or so, they’re force feeding the viewers a whole bunch of back-story that just isn’t worth caring about. I would’ve liked to see them cut back a lot on the character’s past and focus on developing these people we’re trying to root for, but what we have now is what we get I guess.

Something else that would help would be getting rid of the unnecessary scenes. There are quite a few scenes that, if the director took them out of the movie, nothing would change. For example, there’s a scene where this girl and her little brother go to the mall. You see the girl watching some dancers dancing to music or something when she realizes that her brother isn’t with her. She starts panicking and searches for him only to find him staring at some flying toy hovercraft. She says, “You scared me to death,” they laugh, they walk away, and the scene ends. When I saw that, I thought to myself, “Was there a point to that scene?” and there just wasn’t.

Left Behind is a bad movie. It has lots of flaws that could make many people see this as one of the worst movies of the year. However, I personally didn’t hate it. It just had that something that makes the movie bearable for me. Don’t get me wrong, this movie sucks and I completely understand if you hate it. However, I personally thought it was bad, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever. If you like faith based movies, then I would probably wait for this to come to the dollar movie if you really want to sacrifice two hours of your life for this. For everyone else, I would avoid. Left Behind is definitely a bad movie, but there is definitely worse out there.

I give this movie a 3 out of 10. Don’t spend your money on this one.