It’s the end of the world, and Nicolas Cage‘s wife knew it. Unfortunately, he didn’t believe her, so he’s stuck taking the place of a pilot who has suddenly vanished alongside a sizable amount of plane passengers. It’s a pretty inconvenient time for the rapture to happen, but Cage’s character is a pilot so things aren’t all that bad.
Left Behind is the story of a bunch of non-Christians who have to endure the worst era in world history because God has closed the lid on his creation experiment with a final harumph. The movie is based on the book series from Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins that plays What If with the Book of Revelation, attempting to theorize how we might handle the rise of the Antichrist and the devastation that follows the great exodus of believers.
It’s also technically a remake in the wake of a trinity of films starring Kirk Cameron that Jenkins described as “church basement movies.” Unfortunately, the trailer for the new incarnation shows off what still looks like made-for-TV quality:
Admittedly, Cage is the only reason that anyone is taking notice of this project (so he was an incredibly smart hire), but that doesn’t discredit the need for exploring personal spirituality within the confines of a post-apocalyptic setting. The end of the world tends to bring out the existential philosopher in every movie it graces, but more so than dealing with the specifics of what this ordained phenomenon entails, Left Behind looks to talk its way into and out of personal crises that apply to everyday life even as existence crumbles.
Sadly, if the movie hangs close to the book, it runs the serious risk of being little more than a creepy theological fantasy based not on the promise of eternal peace, but on the confused suffering of everyone else.
If Cage manages to yell, “I’ve been left Beee-hind!” at some point, though, it’ll be a winner.
Left Behind is in theaters October 3rd.