22 February 2013

Movie Review: "Left Behind: World at War"

Rated: PG-13 for violence
Starring: Lou Gossett, Jr., Kirk Cameron, and Brad Johnson
Release Date: October 25, 2005
Synopsis: After a mass disappearance occurred all over the planet, Nicolae Carpathia rose as the world's new leader, promising world peace.  Every country on Earth handed over their weapons to him, and he promised to destroy the guns, bombs, missiles, and such to prevent war.  However, Buck Williams, his new bride Chloe Steele, and Chloe's father and new stepmother, all of whom recently became Christians, believe that Carpathia is the Antichrist, as Revelation predicted.  When United States President Charles Fitzhugh's VP is killed in a random drive-by attack, Mr. President learns of an attack against America.  He believes killing Carpathia will prevent it, but he will be in for a big surprise...

Story: 4/5
Yes, I know many people have problems with Left Behind's stance on "the end times," but much of Bible prophecy is difficult to interpret; you have to accept that this is just two authors' account of how it could happen, not necessarily how it will.  Still, it spins an action/adventure yarn that is better than Jerusalem Countdown's, and really kept me on the edge of my seat.

Production Values: 4/5
All of the actors did exceptionally well.  The action sequences were well-portrayed, though some of the special effects were a bit cheesy; one explosion even reminded me of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.  Still, the rest of the movie is so solid and gripping that you probably won't care.

Content: 3.5/5
The MPAA rated this "PG-13 for violence," and there are plenty of explosions, shootings, and other violent acts to go around...but this is inappropriate for young children for other reasons as well.  An extramarital affair is discussed with decorum, but talk of it will likely confuse young children, and Chloe promising her husband, "I will comfort you with my body," during their wedding might garner some questions from a seven-year-old that his parents aren't quite ready to answer yet.  Not only that, but even some of the non-violent scenes are creepy; one character has a rather frightening nightmare about Carpathia.  In this case, I would suggest taking the "PG-13" seriously, though, depending on the kid, it might be appropriate for preteens, too; still, anyone younger than ten should wait until they're older.

Conclusion: I was once a member on an online forum where a preacher said he didn't care for the Left Behind films because they lacked the action that the books had.  Apparently, World at War hadn't come out yet when he said that, because this film has plenty of intensity.  From what I hear, they're planning on remaking the Left Behind film series; at least the original one ended on a high note.  Fans of the Jenkins/LaHaye book series are in for a treat.

Score: 4.5/5

(This is my fiftieth review!)

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