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"Left Behind": The Rapture Redux 

Tuesday, Sep 30 2014
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Coming less than a decade after the first film trilogy based on the infamous Christian-Rapture books, Vic Armstrong's Left Behind reboot overtly attempts to court secular audiences. The psalm remains the same: Millions of people vanish one day, and our still-there protagonists on a transatlantic flight include pilot Rayford (Nicolas Cage), flight attendant and Rayford's would-be mistress Hattie (Nicky Whelan), and hunky journalist Buck (Chad Michael Murray). Meanwhile, Rayford's earthbound daughter Chloe (Cassie Thomson) must survive riots and looting while dealing with the painful knowledge that Rayford bought tickets to see U2 with Hattie. The book and original movie landed the plane quickly and got on with the rise of the Antichrist over the next month, but Armstrong's Left Behind focuses on the first several hours, becoming a Snakes on a Plane-style thriller as Rayford attempts to land the increasingly crippled airliner. While it's more entertaining than the wet noodle that was 2000's Left Behind, the theological message is now surprisingly downplayed: Fan favorite Pastor Barnes is relegated to a cameo, overarching series villain Nicolae Carpathia is never mentioned, and a passenger who suggests the missing people were abducted by aliens could have been correct without it changing the movie too much. And, most frustratingly, we never find out if U2 got Raptured. Maybe in the sequel?

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Sherilyn Connelly

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