Left Behind

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In the late ‘90s, Sean Penn told the New York Times, “Nic Cage is no longer an actor.”

I thought that was harsh. Those two were in Fast Times together, as well as Racing with the Moon a few years later. They were homies.

It got worse for Cage when Stephen Baldwin was quoted in People magazine that he “didn’t enjoy Nicolas Cage movies.”

Now, when that comes from the least talented Baldwin, perhaps Nic could’ve done something about it.

I think we’re now passed the point of no return.

When I heard he was doing a Christian movie about the Rapture, I shrugged. A Christian guy I play racquetball with told me, “I’m so excited to see this. It’s a remake of the movie Kirk Cameron did in 2000.”

Finding out this was a remake, and of a movie that was bad the first time around, made me reluctant…but I gave it the ol’ college try.

Well, it was worse than I imagined; from the crappy dialogue to the poor production values.

I don’t even mind if the Christian filmmakers wanted to get preachy. It’s the boring, plodding nature of the film that drove me bonkers.

For those that aren’t familiar with the bible (I’d be included in that group), the Rapture occurs when all true believers in Christ will go into heaven, leaving Earth to the unsaved. That premise was parodied nicely in This is the End by Seth Rogen and his heathen crew.

After the Rapture, there’s the Tribulation. Mankind is purified, and the reign of the devil takes place. After that, Jesus will return to judge the world, and that…is the end.

Nicolas Cage plays Rayford Steele (which would be my porno name). His daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson) has returned for his surprise birthday party. She’s surprised to see her daddy (who is a pilot) flying off to London, with a hot flight attendant (Nicky Whelan) in tow. Why wouldn’t he? He’s got front row seats to U2 (wonder which members of that band will be left on Earth).

There’s a TV news reporter (Chad Michael Murray), that is probably the most famous ever to grace an airport. Everyone is taking photos and getting autographs. Well, Chloe gets more than an autograph. They click, after she defends him when a religious woman gets in his face.

Lea Thompson is one of the lucky ones to ascend into heaven. She’s also one of the lucky ones to have gotten out of this picture early. Hell, there were many times during this I was praying that it would end.

I laughed uncomfortably when I saw the Muslim got “left behind.” He was on the plane, but wasn’t a hijacker. He was the only guy nice enough to get up from his seat and offer to help a little person put his carry-on in the overhead bin.

American Idol star Jordin Sparks makes an appearance. That was surprising. Yet what was really surprising was just how bored Cage appeared in this. It was as if he was going through the motions for the pay check. There was a time he pulled in $20 million a picture. I can’t imagine he got more than $2 million for this poor dialogue and his bad delivery of said lines.

As Stephen Baldwin said earlier in this review – I don’t like Nicolas Cage movies.

This gets 0 stars out of 5.

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