Volume 94, Issue 87
Wednesday, March 7, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
TV's Kirk Cameron returns - The Apocalypse is upon us
Gazette File Photo
Starring: Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, Chelsea Noble
Directed By: Vic Sarin
By Tara Dermastja
Following the standard box-office hit formula is a guarantee for big bucks, but casting Kirk Cameron in the lead of a movie that preaches more than it entertains is a guarantee for disappointment.
Left Behind does nothing more than provide audiences with almost two hours of confusion, discomfort and regret. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, the film may have been better suited for a Sunday night movie on the Obscurity Channel, giving viewers a chance to grab the remote when scenes become too unbearable to watch.
The film's presence on the big screen ensures that those who have paid a significant amount for the chance to see a great flick will be bitterly let down. The script is poor, the acting is worse and the only redeeming moment is when audiences finally get a brief understanding of how it all ties together.
Then, like a thunderstorm that cuts power in the final minutes of a cliff hanging moment, viewers are left with one question: What happened? Or perhaps, more appropriately, does anyone really care?
The story centres on Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron), a do-gooder journalist who decides to get to the root of the matter when millions of people vanish. Intertwined with this is the growing power of two wealthy men who plan to control the world's food supply while using a UN bigwig, Nicolae Carpathia (Gordon Currie), as their pawn. As the plot unravels slower than molasses on a cold day, it becomes quite clear that the people left behind are those who have sinned against God, and that somehow Carpathia is related to the impending Apocalypse.
It is Cameron's role as Williams, though, that needs to be forgiven. Rarely seen since his peak on Growing Pains, his choice to appear in the recent Growing Pains reunion was a smarter decision than starring in Left Behind. Cameron's wife, Chelsea Noble, also gets a chance at embarrassment as Hattie, a flight attendant who magically gets a dream job at the UN as secretary to Carpathia.
The only other characters worth mentioning are Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson), a pilot-turned-preacher who is comforted by his not-so-innocent daughter. As Carpathia, Currie turns in the film's one reasonable performance as a convincingly evil, handsome young man.
With only five minutes of worthy screentime, Left Behind's faults are far too numerous to mention. Audiences not comfortable with religious overtones in their movie-going experiences should avoid Left Behind at all costs. Those who generally prefer to walk away from a movie with a general grasp of what they just saw should do the same. Leaving this movie behind would not be a sin.
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