12 March 2013

Movie Review: "Revelation"

Rated: PG-13 for violence
Starring: Jeff Fahey, Nick Mancuso, and Carol Alt
Released: 2000
Synopsis: Three months after his wife and daughter were among the millions who mysteriously vanished, counter-terrorism expert Thorold Stone is trying to discover what happened. Does the answer lie with the "true messiah" and his one-world government? A breathtaking climax will encourage you to examine your place in the battle between good and evil.
(From CDB's page for the DVD)

Story: 4/5
This part of the movie is hard to score.  On the one hand, it kept me glued to my seat the entire time, which is something no movie has done since I saw The Avengers in 3-D last summer.  However, I'm not really sure that the "end times" are going to happen like this; the whole theme seemed more like a SyFy channel telefilm than a Christian flick.  It does serve as a bit of a parable nonetheless, but don't go into this expecting the works of Jenkins and LaHaye.

Production Values: 5/5
Often, Christian-themed movies suffer from a low budget, which usually turns off some viewers.  However, poor special effects can be overpowered by a compelling story, as was the case with The Witches of Oz, which kept me up past midnight last August to see how it ended.  The good news about Revelation is that its production values match the grip of the plot.  Though Apocalypse, the first movie in the series, suffered from a eighties, made-for-TV-quality feel, this one seriously improves on that.

Moral Content: 2.5/5
If you thought Apocalypse was freaky, wait until you see this.  The "violence" the MPAA warned about includes everything from shootouts to an arson attempt to cruelty to an innocent animal to a guy slicing his bare chest with a conch shell to even a near beheading.  None of it is graphic, but there is some blood, and all of it is quite creepy, as are some nonviolent scenes.  Elsewhere, there is a "bombshell" female character who is seen wearing a bare-midriff top, and a guy makes lecherous taunts at her.  There is also one mild profanity.  Though I feel that the rating is right, I would make the content advisory "violence, frightening sequences, brief language, and occasional off-color dialogue".

Conclusion: When I randomly decided to see The Great Buck Howard a few years ago, my thoughts as the credits rolled were, "I've never seen anything like that!"  I hadn't felt like that since...until tonight, when I watched Revelation.  I'm not sure that it would exactly qualify as a Christian movie; though it has Biblical elements, so do some secular films, such as Knowing and the first Mission: Impossible.  Still, for those who enjoy a well-made and gripping, if strange, celluloid yarn, this is for you.

Score: 3.75/5

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