The Worst Rapture Movie Ever Made | Carl E. Olson | Catholic World Report blog
The "Left Behind" reboot starring Nicholas Cage continues a dubious tradition of Fundamentalist "end times" movies that are unbearable, unbelievable, and unbiblical
A dozen years ago, I wrote an article, “No End In Sight”, for First Things, in which I wrote, perhaps with a dash of sarcasm: “Only two more Left Behind books to go and we’ll finally know how the world ends. I can hardly wait. I feel fortunate that I live at a time when someone finally figured out what the Book of Revelation really means.” I noted that the novel, The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon, which was the most recent Left Behind book at that time (it was #13, and three more followed between 2003-2007), had a first printing of 2,750,000 copies. “That’s a serious number of people learning the secrets of the Book of Revelation,” I wrote, “Unfortunately for them, the secrets are stale, recycled, and false.”
Four years ago, Christian Post reported that Cloud Ten Pictures, the company that produced the first Left Behind movie in 2000, starring Kirk Cameron, had finally settled a lawsuit with Tim LaHaye—creator and co-author of the mega-selling novels—that was rooted LaHaye's claim that “the producers made a lower quality film than the contract demanded.” That is funny in it's own right, since LaHaye (b. 1926), a high profile Fundamentalist pastor based in San Diego who has authored or co-authored some fifty books, should know that it's impossible to make a good Rapture movie—or so it appears, based on all available evidence (including the three previous Left Behind movies).
But LaHaye was persistent, saying, “My dream has always been to enter the movie theater with a first-class, high-quality movie that is grippingly interesting, but also is true to the biblical storyline – and that was diluted in the first attempt, but Lord willing, we are going to see this thing made into the movie that it should be.” And so LaHaye had agreed, in 2010, to allow Cloud Ten Pictures “to make a Hollywood version of the New York Times bestseller series.”
Two nights ago, I took two friends to the opening night of the Left Behind “reboot,” the so-called “Hollywood version” of the series. I can safely say, with my right hand on a Bible and a stiff drink in my left, that the new movie is not first-class, high-quality, grippingly interesting, or true to the biblical storyline. It's so bad that Nicholas Cage—apparently the “Hollywood” in “Hollywood version”—looks embarrassed to be in the film, and I'm guessing that Cage has rarely felt embarrassed about much of anything.