Sunday, March 27, 2005

Banality Fair Reviews The "Left Behind" Movies, Part 2

Where to begin with director Vic Sarin's masterpiece. The plot is too convoluted to try and summarize. So, these reviews will be more thematic in nature. This first entry explores how the movie deals with being "left behind."

As the name implies, the movies are about those unbelievers left behind when the Rapture begins. Those not "left behind" are taken up to Heaven to be with God and Jimi Hendrix.

The actual taking of the believers is remarkably boring. They are there one minute, and then gone the next. No theatrical-flash-bang stuff. No "blooop"-type sound. When the Rapture starts, two of the main characters (Kirk Cameron as Buck, an intrepid reporter named Buck who trying to piece everything together, and Ray, an airline pilot) are on a plane. Everything is cool, then all of the sudden half the plane's passengers disappear. An old woman wonders what happened to her husband who was just next to her. She looked really nice. But, somehow she screwed up with God. A young mother screams for her kids. For some reason, while the believers go to Heaven, their clothes, glasses and jewlery -- like the unbelievers -- are left behind.

Apparently, all dogs are unbelievers. The movie features a bunch of scenes of dogs running the streets with unmanned leashes attached to them. One sad dog sits on the ground next to a suit -- all that remains of his owner on Earth. In another scene, we learn that hamsters have apparently displeased God as well.

Some people are taken to Heaven while driving, which leads to a bunch of bloody car accidents. Many of those left behind are seen stumbling around, covered in blood after having been smashed into by a driverless car. At one point, the pilot character radios air traffic control to figure out what is happening, and the air traffic controller says he doesn't know and describes planes falling from the sky as some flight crews were taken to Heaven. Their left behind passengers sent to a fiery death. It left me wondering why God didn't send a warning that the Rapture was coming on Tuesday, so that those who may be taken to Heaven are warned not to drive or fly.

The main characters are, of course, all left behind because they are unbeliever/athiest types. The movie is about them discovering their faith and getting a second chance to be saved.

Others are left behind too, but mostly because their beliefs are screwed up (i.e., they don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the son of God). Take for example the left behind people on the Kirk/Buck's plane.

The Sikh guy? Left behind!

The black woman in the afro-centric dress? Left behind! (was it the black pride or the bright colors that angered God?)

Later, we see that all the Israelis (Jews) and Arabs (Muslims) are: Left behind!

Later in the film, we are told that all the children in the world are taken to Heaven because they are innocent and not in a position to choose to be an unbeliever. Yet, dogs are left behind. Who would have thought that more is expected of dogs when it comes to accepting Christ as you messiah than that which is expected of kids?

In any event, all the children and the believers should add up to at least a few billion people. But, at some point in the movie, a news report claims that 142,800,000 people have "gone missing" in the world. How could the numbers be so wrong? Are there only like 140,000,000 children in the world? Or, is this just a reflection of some really subpar census work in India and China?

The beginning of the Rapture creates chaos in the world and a leadership void, which will be explored in later posts. But, as a preview of those posts consider this: What if Kofi Annan -- with all his talk of peace and international cooperation -- is as subversive and evil as some uberconservatives insinuate? I don't mean a "bad guy"-type evil. But evil-type evil.


Blogger Spiral Stairs said...

Regarding the statistical anomaly, children may get a free pass, but who knows how God defines children? Maybe he thinks that anyone over the age of four possesses sufficient free will to be denied access to heaven without proof of worth.

I'm glad you're here to summarize this thing for me, so I didn't actually have to give up an evening to find out that my sad, pathetic dog is staying here. I have a feeling I'll be here too, anyway.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

I rented the series from my local library about 2 years ago. Two things that I remember: that the 'anti-christ' has a Russian-ish accent! Russians=evil is so 1985! Pleez! Also, Kirk Cameron's little 'message' at the end of the video, "If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal savior, please call this number" or whatever. Like he just made a sale. I don't remember much about the second movie, but, enjoy!

2:17 AM  
Blogger Earl Cootie said...

Maybe, contrary to the "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world" song we had to sing in Sunday school, Jesus has changed his mind and only likes American kids now. And "red and yellow, black and white - they are precious in his sight" refers to their Nikes or something. Just an idea.

But thanks for watching, guys. Sacrificing yourselves this way, so that all us sinners could . . . Hey! Wait a minute! That's just like . . .

5:32 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

stefanie: welcome. It could have been worse. They could have made the anti-christ a an arab trader named Mohammed from Medina.

Earl! Long time since we've seen you around. Great to hear from you. P.S.: You are going straight to hell.

7:05 PM  

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