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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Left Behind (2014)


When the world’s in panic, trust in Nic Cage. Just make sure there’s no bees around.

It’s like any other normal day in the sweet lives of these few humans. A daughter (Cassi Thomson) oh so desperately wants the attention and love from her father that she hasn’t gotten since she was a little girl; the father, Rayford Steele (Nic Cage), is a bit of a dirt-bag in that he takes his wedding-ring off before every flight, only so that he can fool around and tell terrible jokes to young, blonde and busty stewardesses; and his wife (Lea Thompson), on the other hand, is at home, thumping the Bible and speaking the good Lord’s word. But this one day is all of a sudden turned right around for the worst when, unexpectedly, loved ones begin vanishing. Kids, adults, male, females, transvestites, everyone! It’s like some sort of “Rapture” that nobody has any explanation for, except that the Gods must be angry, or something. But the speculation can wait because Rayford Steele has a plane to land, and plenty of passengers to get on the ground safely and in one piece. That is, if they don’t already start killing one another off with their paranoid minds in the first place.

So, if you didn’t already know by now, this movie is a faith-based one, in the sense that it’s centered towards the kind of crowd who goes to these types of movies where they can go to hear and see about all sorts of God-like things that they can’t consume all at once on Sunday morning. That, or they just want to see Nic Cage doing a movie, that’s already a remake of something starring the almighty Kirk Cameron.

"Nice! Wait till HuffPo gets a load of this!"

“Nice! Wait till HuffPo gets a load of this!”

And yes, you heard me right on that people: Nic Cage is starring in a movie that was originally written with Kirk Cameron in mind. It’s kind of a shame really, but seeing where Cage’s career has been as of late, I can’t say that I’m too surprised. Actually, that’s a lie, cause I’m totally shocked and I honestly have no idea why the hell Nic himself would get involved with such propaganda like this! Let alone, a movie that’s really terrible.

However, with most of the movies he does, Cage finds a way to make the most terrible-aspects, the least bit entertaining, or somewhat interesting, in his own, Cage-y way. He yells, breaths heavily, smiles oddly, makes weird faces and just all around, over-acts like the king that he is. The problem is that this isn’t really the kind of movie where he can get away with that, because not only does the material hardly ever call on him to be all crazy and such, but even he himself seems tired and lifeless, as if he’s just totally in this for the paycheck and nothing but. That could rightly be the case, but when I see my movies with Nic Cage, paycheck-gigs or not, I want to see some effort, man!

Here though, Nic himself is sort of sleep-walking through a role that could have been played by anybody and quite frankly, doesn’t really need him. Or anybody for that matter. In fact, if I really had to go down deep into this movie, I’d say that it was a piece of garbage. And no, that’s not because I’m some sort of atheist that hates anything having to do with God, his word, or his holy followers – I just am not a fan of bad movies. And this here, my friends, is a bad movie.

But it’s not the kind of bad movie you and your buddies should sneak out to late one night, drunk/high, and expect to have a great time with. Because yes, even though there are plenty of laugh-out-loud scenes here where the typically insane occurrence will show up on screen, only to go away a second later without hardly any rhyme or reason, the movie’s messiness just ends up ruining any bit of fun that could have been had here. Not saying that the movie had to be a joke from beginning to end, but there’s a point in which your film ends up being more than just silly, and just bad. And such is the case here: It’s bad, and sometimes laughably so, but not enough to where I’d say go out there and see this one with glassy-eyes.

In fact, just don’t bother seeing this. Sure, to its audience, it may have the right message and it honestly may make them feel all warm and gooey on the inside, but for the others that may actually want to pay a couple of bucks to see the next Nic Cage-starrer and seemingly have no idea of what they are getting into, they’ll be pissed. They’ll be bored and though they’ll get plenty of chances to just point and laugh at the screen, it’s not enough to justify seeing this.

Even the whole angle of this being a faith-based movie doesn’t even come into play; there are mentions of God and faith in heavy-handed ways, but honestly, you could look at this as another, run-of-the-mill disaster story that has the ill-chance of taking place on a plane practically the whole time. Add on the fact that every character is terribly-written and the performances from some of the actors playing them are, honestly, even worse. I’ve already talked enough about Nic Cage, but the rest are just pitiful, almost to the point of where it makes sense why they were cast in this movie in the first place: They probably didn’t cost much to begin with, and it pretty much shows.

"Ah! Please don't crush me, New Testament-quote!"

“Ah! Please don’t crush me, New Testament-quote!”

Though I wasn’t expecting much out of him to begin with, Chad Michael Murray is god-awful as the “investigative journalist” that, for one reason or another, every spectator treats him as something of a celebrity. I’m assuming he’s being made out to be the next Anderson Cooper or something, but to me, it seemed hard to believe that ladies panties would be dropping just for some dude who stepped on foreign soil and covered a story. That stuff, my friends, are stories of the past, I’m afraid to say.

But Murray isn’t the only whose bad, Cassi Thomson is awkward and her one scene with Cage is probably the best, only because most of his manner-isms come out and make the scene better. And that’s pretty much it for the whole film really: Cage makes it better. But even then though, he’s sort of there just to service a script that doesn’t deserve him. It’s all bad, from beginning to end, and it makes you wonder just why exactly did Cage sign up for this in the first place. Especially after doing something as wonderful as Joe.

Oh, Nic. Your mind truly is a mysterious one.

Consensus: Irate, laughable, and over-the-top with what it’s trying to get across, Left Behind is another faith-based drama that wants to be about something important and meaningful, without ever really allowing us to be entertained in the first place.

2 / 10 = Crapola!!

Only one man to save humanity....

Only one man to save humanity….

Photo’s Credit to: Goggle Images

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15 responses to “Left Behind (2014)

  1. falcon760 October 4, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Good review. I can’t believe how photoshopped that poster is though.

  2. Richard White October 4, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Great review Dan, this looks completely awful but I feel tempted to see it anyway just for the comedy value.

  3. johngordon321 October 4, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Wow! You really watch everything! You have my respect. 🙂

    I’m not planning on seeing this, but from the description it sounds like you could edit in some footage from ConAir without changing the plot and arguably making the movie better. “Jesus wants you to put down the bunny!”

  4. Wendell October 4, 2014 at 5:03 am

    I’ve actually seen the Kirk Cameron original and it wasn’t any good, either. The whole series was popular, though, which is why this was given a big budget and Mr. Cage as its star. Yup, I said series. So if this is popular enough there will be two more of them. I can’t say that I’m dying of anticipation.

  5. Kristin October 4, 2014 at 5:16 am

    I actually read the book (series) this movie was based off. The books were published in the 90s, and the story really wasn’t half bad. I am a Bible-believing Christian, but that doesn’t mean I advocate bad films, and when I saw the trailer for this (much less heard they were remaking it), I was disappointed, especially since supposedly they remade it since the author sued Cloud Ten Pictures (the studio where the first one was filmed) for the movie being a “misrepresentation” or “not good enough” adaptation of the book. For the material and the small budget, I’d say the first movie wasn’t half bad, regardless of what you might think of Kirk Cameron (I wish he used to be as good as he was back in his Growing Pains days . . . ). I still want to see this, knowing I will laugh at how bad it is, just because I read the books and saw the first movies. I HIGHLY doubt any sequels will actually be made, but you never know. What’s funny is that Ashley Tisdale’s name was attached to this project, only for her to drop out. Looks like she made the right decision.

  6. davecrewe October 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Sad to hear this isn’t even so-bad-it’s-good :/ Great review though!

  7. stephen1001 October 4, 2014 at 10:48 am

    “Oh, Nic. Your mind truly is a mysterious one.” Community was right about ‘Nicolas Cage: good or bad?’ – I think you may have found the answer though. He may be good, it’s just his movie choices that are often less than good!

  8. The Vern October 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I heard about this being made and just brushed it off. It seems like the makers of this want to cash in their religious beliefes with an updated remake and in casting the Cagester. Want to get movie geeks like us in to the seats. Glad to read that it is bad and not in a good way.

  9. shazza91321 October 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Umm, I’m a Christian and don’t want to see this movie, why the remake, again????

  10. Three Rows Back October 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Cage looks ridiculous from those stills so I can only guess what the movie’s like! Nice review Dan.

  11. angie chui October 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I knew that it was based on a book series that was really big with Christians but I never really got into it because I didn’t want to delve into the nitty gritty of my faith. I just know that I believe in God, period. No offense to anyone. As such, and given your review, I will steer clear of this movie. Thanks for the heads up man, great post. 😀

  12. Ms. Coolsville October 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    This movie must be a slap in the face to the authors of the Left Behind series. I saw the Kirk Cameron version, like so many of my fellow Christians, at church years ago and it was alright for a low-budget flick produced by a small faith-based company. I might watch Nic Cage just for the laughs but methinks I’m better off reading the book instead. 😉

  13. Eric Marcy October 6, 2014 at 3:00 am

    I’ve heard rumors of a pretty distasteful/bizarrely hilarious scene involving a midget. Is this true?

  14. epilepticmoondancer October 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Wow mate, even with a film you can’t stand, you are able to write an entertaining review. I love your writing style, it is different and I like that. This is a really nice site you have here! I could only dream of having my page look half as good as this, as well as half as popular.

    Cheers

  15. Mr Rumsey December 18, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Ah this is a shame to read. I never expected it to be great but I like Lea Thompson and was hoping that her and Cage in one film would give it just enough good points for me to check it out!

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