Any movie lover during much of the early 21st century has probably asked at some point, “Is there anything Nic Cage will say ‘no’ too?” Vic Armstrong’s Left Behind answers that question definitively, “No. No there is not.”
The Oscar winner stars as Ray Steele, a pilot with a troubled domestic life set to fly from New York to London on his birthday. Just before he boards the plane he’s surprised at the airport by his daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson), who has come home for the first time in a while to celebrate with her dad and is bitterly disappointed that he’s leaving, and that he also seems to be flirting with a hot blonde stewardess. The family has been troubled ever since mom Irene (Lea Thompson) became a born-again Christian and started relentlessly espousing her faith. Also at the airport is Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray), a jet-setting famous reporter. He and Chloe hit it off in the few minutes they interact before he climbs on board the flight piloted by her dad.
While en route, people on the plane, and millions of people on Earth, suddenly disappear, leading to massive looting, planes falling from the sky, and out-of-control empty school buses careening off of bridges into ravines. While Chloe fights her way home to find out if her mom is safe, Ray and Buck try to keep the alarmed passengers -- which include among others an angry little person, a defensive Muslim, a Texas businessman, and the wife of an NFL quarterback -- calm, as they also attempt to figure out how to safely land the plane.
Never once is the word “rapture” uttered during the course of Left Behind, and anybody not already familiar with the religious concept would be forgiven for finding this movie totally incomprehensible. There are ideas central to the explanation of what is transpiring that are withheld from the audience so that only those who already know what’s going on are aware of what is really taking place.
Every scene is clumsily written and staged, which makes it impossible for the actors to come anywhere close to believable. Cage can’t even muster his usual tics to bring any energy to his line readings, the actors playing the passengers on the plane are laughably ridiculous, and Cassi Thomson is allowed only two emotions in the film -- disgust or shock.
As the movie concludes, one character scans the wreckage and turmoil and says that it looks like the end of the world, to which Chloe, now a convert to her mother’s teachings after everything that’s happened, responds, “No. It’s just the beginning.” Pray she’s not talking about this being the first film in a franchise.
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- Released: 2014
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Any movie lover during much of the early 21st century has probably asked at some point, “Is there anything Nic Cage will say ‘no’ too?” Vic Armstrong’s Left Behind answers that question definitively, “No. No there is not.” The Oscar winner stars as Ray… (more)