Left Behind (2014): They Shouldn't Have Bothered. A Review from Someone Who Expected to Like It





Note: my review appears at the bottom in italics after the trailer

Wait? Haven't we been there, done that already (and recently)? The history of the remake 

According to The Christian Post

Although the first “Left Behind” film sold a staggering 2.8 million videocassettes before its theatrical release in February 2001 and reaped $2.1 million during its opening weekend, making it the nation's No. 1 independent film, the quality of the film disappointed LaHaye, who claimed the producers made a lower quality film than the contract demanded [emphasis mine].

The creators of the books, which are inspired by biblical prophecies, were also dissatisfied with the distribution techniques Cloud Ten was utilizing, including the film company’s decision to release the first installment on home video through mainly Christian outlets.

"We thought we had a chance to reach millions of people with our message," LaHaye told the Los Angeles Times in an interview two years ago, amid the fight to win back the rights to the series. "And you don't do that with videos."

LaHaye and Jenkins said they naively sold the movie rights to "Left Behind" too early and ended up with what Jenkins called glorified "church basement movies [emphasis mine]."

The lawsuit began in 2000 by LaHaye (by the way, read 1 Cor. 6 on this where Christians are expected to largely avoid the secular courts in their disputes among themselves. The only loophole, if you want to call it that, would be where the one party is considered an unbeliever, as I understand it and the greater context of 1 Cor. 6).  

The settlement states that LaHaye must do a remake or the original filmmakers will have the right to do further films in the franchise.  

You can see by the date of the article that the settlement came some eight to nine years later.  



My review:  

Personally, I like Nicholas Cage and I loved the original Left Behind films.  However, this motion picture never took off (pun intended) from the day of the rapture though the film from 2000 took the viewers so much further.  It almost seemed like the producers decided to put together all the ingredients for a hit: like A-list stars, beautiful co-stars, explosions, drama, etc. and voila, people will love it.  Well, I was prepared to like it but didn't.  I think Chad Michael Murray was very charming as Buck Williams but Nicolas Cage was not convincing as Rayford Steele. I think that I will stick with the original, thank you. 

I would give this movie 1 or 2 out of 4 stars.  

How it did at the box office opening weekend:

It was number 6, 1825 theaters /3-day cume: $6.3M/ Total cume: $6.3M /Wk 1

The linked article above has the following to say: 

"Left Behind lagged far behind the top 5, and Freestyle Releasing will have to maintain its outreach campaign to faith-based groups if it hopes to recoup its $15 million budget, which included some outside marketing to secular demographics because of star Nic Cage."

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