Left Behind continues the theme of Christian films entering into more mainstream cinema in 2014, already this year we have also had Heaven is For Real and God’s Not Dead. Whilst neither of those films were spectacular both had their redeeming qualities and offered much for discussion, so could Left Behind follow in their footsteps?
Unfortunately Left Behind is easily the worst of the three. Christian films are something that are going to be nearly impossible to get right. I had the same issue here that I did with God’s Not Dead, it’s evangelical intentions are just so obvious! I couldn’t enjoy Left Behind as a film because I just felt like I was being preached at. On top of this it’s portrayal of so many things verged on offensive. There was a very unfair representation of Christians in this movie which baffled me slightly as the purpose of this movie is clearly to create more believers however the way Christians are portrayed here would inspire no-one to change their ways. However Left Behind uses a slightly different tactic than most to spark a change in people, basically this whole film is just a big ‘TURN OR BURN’ sermon. I think this is a shocking decision and it was very manipulative which I did not like. The end times/apocalypse or whatever you want to call it is a hard enough issue for Christians who have had a faith for years to understand. Therefore I thought it was really insensitive to use this issue so profusely in an evangelical tool such as a film targeted at those without a faith. I understand what it was trying to do however I simply think that it was gone about it a terrible manner. Once you get past the issue of the whole Christian message element and just look at Left Behind as a film I am afraid it doesn’t get any better either. The acting was terrible by most involved, I won’t even bother to name names because this review is long enough as it is, but trust me you will most likely get more genuine emotion and acting talent out of a primary school nativity play. The film also lacked pace, it is classed as an action/thriller, this is just not true – the film was so so boring and I couldn’t deal with just how monotonous it was.
Left Behind is a truly awful film, I haven’t even mentioned all the flaws but there were some elements that kept me from leaving the cinema. There were some interesting moments that did prove to be thought-provoking, one in particular regarding a certain individual who is left behind was done really well and this was probably the best moment of the film and the most effective deliverance of an aspect of the Christian message. The action in this movie really wasn’t great, this had a lot to do with the repetitive Christian influenced script however once this script took a back seat for the final sequence I actually found myself buying into the events on screen and was able to enjoy Left Behind as a movie, even if it was only for a few moments. Despite the awful effects in Left Behind the film was actually able to achieve some really nice looking shots, these moments stood out so vividly against the rest of the dull and poorly edited film. That is really all that Left Behind has to offer apart from the un-intended laughs that come as a result of awful acting, ridiculous scenarios and portrayals that have been delivered so inaccurately. “Bible bashers” may enjoy and even champion this film however this should not be the case as Left Behind treats its audience with little respect and doesn’t achieve what it sets out to do.
Left Behind is everything that is wrong with Christian cinema, it is a shame because it looked as though progress was being made with previous efforts this year. This film will most likely offend many groups of people and its message isn’t one that will be accepted well.
BIGGEST FLAW – Intentions being obvious and misjudged
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – One instant in which part of the Christian message is delivered well
Rating – 3/10