Left Behind

"The End Begins."

Hi friends, welcome back to a brand new year at The Tagline. I thought that we should start of this new year on the right note, and so to that end I figured we could do our favorite thing, and talk about some ridiculous Nicholas Cage related antics. So today its all Rapture, all the time. That's right, it's time for you to join me and get Left Behind. Now it's possible that you're not familiar with this particular franchise, possibly because you are not an insane person, or at any rate that you have a life. That's a credit to you as a person, but let me fill you in on the gritty details. So the Left Behind series was a group of 13 novels, written from the perspective of dispensational Christians, specifically those who believe that in the End Times, before all the bad shit happens, that true believers will literally be raised up into the air to meet Jesus, for a kind of pre-judgement meet and greet in heaven. After that happens, those left behind will be treated to a variable period of death and misery (in this case seven years, led by the anti-christ) before Jesus comes back to regulate. Are you guys still with me? Okay. So these books are about that, the first one is also CALLED Left Behind, and they have also made a trilogy of movies about this, prior to this Nicholas Cage led endeavor. They specifically deal with a group of individuals who are left behind, that become born-again Christians and fight against the anti-christ. The original movies starred Kirk Cameron, who as you may or may not be aware is an extra-chunky nutbar. At some point I hope to be able to review the third movie in the original series, World at War, because it is one of the more ridiculous films I've ever watched. Long story short, this Left Behind franchise is prolific if nothing else, and somehow that prompted a movie that Nicholas Cage agreed to be in, because he seems to be willing to star in literally anything.

Chad Michael Murray is always waiting for you at the airport.
So there's a little background on the franchise, let's talk about the gripping series reboot itself. Nicholas Cage portrays Raymond Steele, a 747 pilot who is having difficulties in his marriage to his born-again wife. His daughter Chloe is suspicious that her father is having a fling with a flight attendant. She finds all this out when she comes home from college to surprise him on his birthday, only to find that he's taken a flight job to London. To help her deal with her disappointment, she has a weirdly candid and creepy conversation at the airport with Chad Michael Murray, who in this movie portrays Cameron "Buck" Williams, an investigative journalist who is an important character in the series (specifically the one who was previously portrayed by Kirk Cameron). Despite having literally just met him, they have a conversation that suggests they've been best friends for all their lives, before Buck then gets on the flight Raymond is piloting? I'm not really sure about that part, but he's on that plane when it takes off for sure. Chloe is left filled with doubt, and takes her little brother to the mall, where they watch some guys breakdance because I guess this movie takes place in an alternate universe where the rapture is happening and also people still breakdance, in malls specifically. That's when it happens.

Look at these two SINNERS.
Now you know how sometimes someone will sarcastically say like "Oh yeah, I suppose they just disappeared in a puff of smoke right?" Well yeah that is exactly what happens here. One minute Chloe is hugging her little brother, and then with a crack he literally disappears with a tiny puff of smoke, leaving his clothes behind. Chloe freaks out and so does the whole world, immediately. Now I understand that in a crisis people tend to freak out, but like...somehow I found the systemic looting and destruction that followed to be a little bit rehearsed. I do not believe that less than an hour after a bunch of people disappeared, that Chloe would have her backpack stolen by a man on a scooter. I don't believe anyone has EVER actually been robbed by a man on scooter-back, as you could presumably catch up to him by giving chase at a brisk walking speed. Anyway, regardless of that, Chloe freaks out and starts searching for her brother (despite the fact that she witnessed him disappearing?) and Raymond and Buck are left trying to keep a flight of people calm after half of them vanish into thin air. Also for some reason the plane was on manual, even though they were at cruising altitude, and they somehow manage to almost crash into another plane. It's just a comedy of unlikely errors. I find the possibility of the rapture slightly more likely to be honest.

The dumb just keeps on coming too, as Chloe for some reason goes to the hospital to look for her
Ashley Tisdale was originally cast for this role. If only...
brother (I wasn't even sure at first why she was there, but she started calling his name so... that was how I knew) Meanwhile some good old fashioned racism happens on-board the airplane, as everyone their demonstrates in clear terms why they didn't get invited to the heaven party. For all the generous helpings of bible thumping on offer here, this movie is really just a cruddy disaster film in the end. Most of it is about Raymond trying to safely land his plane, and Chloe sort of running around like a clueless dope while things explode all around her for no reason. I was really disappointed by the complete lack of anti-christ action. They have planned two other films to follow this one up, so I can only hope we are going to see more Nicholas Cage antics, and some spooky devil magic. If any of you are wondering, this movie netted a solid 20 million, which is gross.

That's it for today! Going to do something a little different for next week, so stay tuned!

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