Reviews for the apocalyptic rapture movie starring Nicolas Cage swept across the online world shortly after its release. Something worth mentioning is the fact that although 70 percent of the 10,000 people who saw the movie in the big screen thought "Left Behind" was a good watch, critics here and there think the film "failed miserably" with its "many faults" and "poor acting."
The plot surrounds the mystery of millions of people disappearing in a phenomenon called the Rapture. The survivors of the event, other than the pilot Rayford Steele, played by Cage, were Nicky Whelan (Hattie Durham), Chad Michael Murray (Buck Williams), and Cassi Thomson (Chloe Steele). Cage revealed in previous interviews that he did the movie after his pastor brother's advice.
The producer and writer of the film, Paul Lalonde told TheBlaze on Oct. 8 that the audience's support was overwhelming while noting that he was aware of others' not-so-positive take.
"The negative reviews from the Christian audience tend to be [that] it's not exactly like the book and there's not enough gospel in it," he said.
Lalonde admits to having difficulty in keeping a biblical plot on a secular film. "Left Behind" is a reboot from the 2000 film of the same name, which adapted what critics described as "bleak" books written by Jeffrey B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. Christianity Today reviewer Jack Cuidon concluded in his review that the film (though coming from biblical books) was in fact "nowhere near a Christian movie."
Yahoo! Reviewer seconds this by saying that the "theological backstory and exposition is missing," and that the "the actual explanation for the Rapture is rather thin and unsatisfactory."
On the production side, Yahoo! adds that the rapture event came too abrupt while Dr. Ted Baehr, the founder of MovideGuide.org, thought the filmmaking was rather "lazy." However, he added that the critics simply mean to be "vicious" in assessing the movie.
"They're waiting for a Christian movie to rip to shreds and [Left Behind] was the perfect fodder," he said.
Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, on the other hand, said that the film leads to the right direction.
"It's on par with movies of a similar budget and scope, however, in the growing market for faith based entertainment products, it is better than average," Stone said.
The reboot film shakes off all the negativity with its earnings that reached $6.3 million from its North America release alone.