Watching movies is kind of like playing the stock market: You want to get in on the action before things get too popular. True, being the last to see a film won’t risk your financial future as stocks tend to do, but you certainly don’t want to be the sucka who waited until the last minute to jump on the bandwagon.
Instead of a specific film, there is a whole genre of films that is blowing up that you need to know about if you consider yourself a true film connoisseur. That genre is Christian home video.
This recent movement began a little over a year ago with “The Omega Code,” an apocalyptic look into how the prophecies of the book of Revelation will manifest themselves in the very near future. The current torchbearer for the movement is “Left Behind,” an apocalyptic look into how the prophecies of the book of Revelation will manifest themselves in the very near future.
The biggest difference between these films is the starring role. “The Omega Code” stars Casper Van Dien, who has only had one mainstream starring role (“Starship Troopers”, where he took off a girl’s shirt, exposing her breasts. Shame!). “Left Behind” stars, and some would say resurrects, Kirk Cameron, the ’80s teen heartthrob from the TV show “Growing Pains”. The supporting roles in “Left Behind” are also noteworthy, especially Cameron’s real-life hot wife Chelsea Noble, who surely earned the role and didn’t just get it as some type of package deal with her husband.
Cameron plays Buck Williams, a well-respected news reporter for GNN (the inability to use CNN’s name provided me with my first laughs). Williams is in Jerusalem covering the story of some magical formula that can turn the most barren land into fertile cornfields. His return trip to Chicago is piloted by Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson), who is cheating on his Christian (and trusting) wife with stewardess Hattie Durham (Noble). The voyage starts getting a little shaky as the rapture occurs mid-flight.
Back on the ground there is utter chaos. Everyone is freaking about missing family members and friends. All of the children in the world were taken in the rapture, although we never find out exactly what age limit God has set up for automatic rapturing. Steele’s wife and son are gone, leaving him searching for answers. He wanders into church only to find his church minister (Clarence Gilyard, Chuck Norris’ sidekick in “Texas Rangers”) ranting about how he fooled everyone but God. Together they realize the rapture has come, and they need to place their faith in God.
Meanwhile, Williams is trying to find out what happened so he can get the story for GNN. The United Nations blames it on radiation and suggests that all nuclear weapons be destroyed at once. Little does anyone know, but new U.N. leader Nicolae Carpathia (Gordon Currie) from Russia is about to use this situation to take over the world and become the Antichrist.
Carpathia’s plan is to unite the world in peace and use the magic formula to control the world’s food supply. At first Williams loves the idea and supports Carpathia. Later, however, a sniper’s botched assassination attempt leaves him injured and on the doorstep of Steele. Steele takes Williams to the church, where the minister breaks down how everything that happened had been prophesized in Revelation. Williams doesn’t realize the truth of the Bible until it is too late, and Carpathia is well on his way to world domination.
The amazing thing about “Left Behind” is how well the writers understand the book of Revelation. After almost 2,000 years, we finally understand what it all means – The leader of the United Nations will be: 1) Russian and 2) the Antichrist. I’m glad that’s settled.
This is far from being the last Christian-themed film that will hit the shelves of video stores everywhere. The next one will be called “Judgement.” It stars Mr. T and the greatest actor of all time, Corbin Bernson. Look for it.