First Knowing and now this. Apparently, having Nicolas Cage in your movie is a good way to cause the world to end.
Left Behind tells the story of those unfortunate people left on Earth after the Rapture. Is it heavenly bliss or worthy of a torture to rival the Tribulation? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this movie? Nicolas Cage is airline pilot Rayford Steele; his past movies include National Treasure, The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, and Leaving Las Vegas. One Tree Hill‘s Chad Michael Murray plays reporter Buck Williams. Cassi Thomson of Cop Dog and Grave Halloween portrays Ray’s daughter Chloe. And Lea Thompson of Back to the Future and Howard the Duck plays Irene Steele, Ray’s wife. The director is Vic Armstrong, a second unit director and Harrison Ford’s stunt double who has also directed a couple of Young Indiana Jones adventures. It sounds as though we’ve got an action-packed film in store.
The trailer begins as Chloe returns home and her dad heads out just in time to miss his own surprise party. See, that’s the trouble with surprise parties: the people for whom you’re throwing the party don’t know not to make other plans. Buck tries to buy Chloe coffee, but she shuts him down quickly by telling him she’s waiting for her dad. Nothing blocks a pick-up quicker than the girl bringing her dad into the picture. Especially when her dad occasionally turns into a demon and urinates fire.
Ray’s plane takes off, and he takes a minute to drink a cup of coffee with the stewardess, Hattie. What is it with romance and coffee in this movie? But the plane hits a bump of turbulence, and in an instant, half the passengers disappear. Doggone it, Thanos, stop fooling around with the Infinity Gauntlet! Avengers 3 isn’t even in pre-production yet! As passengers panic and oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, Buck takes the opportunity to try to turn the movie into a found-footage film. All the passengers seem to have vanished out of their clothes, which means there are going to be a lot of really embarrassed people in heaven. Worse, the copilot is one of the missing. If only there was someone else who could fly this plane … oh, wait, Ray’s a pilot. They’ll be fine.
Meanwhile, on the ground, Chloe isn’t having a much better time as first a car and then a plane almost crashes into her. Good grief, girl, the universe is trying harder to kill you than it was to kill Sandra Bullock in Gravity! She stumbles across the clothes of a homeless man whose sign warns, “The End is Near!” Good thing he had just enough time before the Rapture to correct the sign to say “Here.” “I know you all want answers,” says Ray. “Believe me, so do I, and I’ll do my best to get them.” My guess is they’re on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
As a nurse tells us the vanishing is worldwide, Chloe walks past a row of empty baby beds, and everyone who has had to change someone else’s child’s diaper sighs in relief. Chloe goes walking on a bridge and tells her father she’s okay, but her mom and brother are gone. Apparently, though, Jason Voorhees or Ghostface must be hanging around, the way she’s going through the house with that baseball bat. A school bus goes over a bridge and Chloe screams, “No!” What are you worried about? The kids are all gone, remember? No one was in that crash!
“Irene knew this was coming, the way it happened,” Ray tells Hattie. “How could she know that?” My guess? I think we’ve found another Time Lord in two weeks. A preacher tells Chloe that God took the missing people “to protect them from the darkest time in the history of this world.” Too late; they already lived through the paranormal/dystopian romance years. We see Chloe stumble across the bank robbery from The Dark Knight, and Chloe says to the preacher, “The God my mother talked about would never do something like this.” Admittedly, she talked about him flooding the Earth, sending plagues on Egypt, and raining fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, but he would never make all these people disappear!
Chloe throws a brick through a window because that’s productive, and Buck assures his fellow passengers that no one’s going to die. Then we see Ray’s pilot skills at work as he almost runs into another plane. He complains to the control tower that he has no spoilers, flaps, or elevators. You know, most people are happy when the trailer doesn’t contain spoilers. And why do you need elevators when your plane only appears to have one deck? The plane’s jet engines send out a flame like the back of the Batmobile, and Ray tells Chloe he loves her in case he crashes this thing. Chloe runs across an exploding runway, only to hear her phone beep. “Dad?” she asks. Nope, just some guy wondering if you like scary movies. And the trailer ends with someone saying, “Looks like the end of the world.” It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.
So based on the trailer, do I recommend this movie? Yes, yes I do. It looks intense and action-packed, and we’ve got some good actors in the mix here. I’ve had some fun with Nicolas Cage and his crazier roles, but he can be good when he wants to be. The guy won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his role in Leaving Las Vegas; he has the acting chops to pull off this character. Plus Jerry B. Jenkins, one of the original book’s authors, is throwing his support behind this movie one hundred percent. That has to mean it’s good, right? It may not be a breakout classic, but it’s definitely worth checking out. I don’t know that I’ll get around to it in theaters, but I’ll definitely check it out when it comes out on DVD.
After all, if I don’t see it the day it comes out, it’s not the end of the world. Oh, wait.
Left Behind is owned by Stoney Lake Entertainment.