Coming to theatres from director Vic Armstrong, Stoney Lake Releasing and Freestyle Entertainment is a story of being LEFT BEHIND.
It starts out as a normal day for most people. Everyone getting ready for school, jogging, jobs and life in general even for pilot Rayford Steele (Nicolas Cage). His wife Irene (Lea Thompson) is planning to make the day special because it is Ray’s birthday. Sneaking into town for a visit is their daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson).
At the airport Chloe meets Buck (Chad Michael Murray) and they strike up a magnetic conversation. That is also when Chloe sees her father and isn’t thrilled with what she is looking at. Trying to make the best of the situation with her father, Chloe also has strains with her mother.
Irene wants Chloe to understand her faith but instead a difference of opinion causes hurt feelings. Trying to relate to her Mother Chloe decides its best to avoid the topic. Off to the mall for a little retail therapy, it takes put a second before chaos ensues. Millions of people have disappeared without a trace.
Trying to get home to find her mother, Chloe tries to piece together what is happening. On a flight across the ocean, Ray meets with the same chaos at 30,000 feet! On the plane is Buck who tries to help keep the passengers calm while Ray tries to reach someone on the ground.
Whether on the ground or in the air – they must discover where everyone has gone!
FINAL WORD: Cage as Rayford is a man going through a midlife crisis. Not understanding his wife’s need for her faith and church, he begins to push away – and in the wrong direction. Cage actually puts in a good performance here, not over played but right on target.
Thomson as Chloe is a young lady with some pretty sweet survival skills. Once she realizes the effect is world wide, she pulls herself up by the ole bootstraps and focuses on what is to come. There are moments of dramatic effect but nothing that turned me away from her performance.
Murray as Buck is totally rock solid and if I was in an airplane wigging out he’d be the go to guy. His ability to care about total strangers struggling with the event and not be freaking out himself is, dare I say, pretty righteous.
Thompson as Irene is a character I just couldn’t get behind. Let me make this clear, it had nothing to do with what she was saying but more over how she was saying it. There seemed to be something missing in her character that seemed – empty. I know right? It was a brief moment and again, nothing to take away from the film itself.
Other cast include: Jordin Sparks as Shasta Carvell, Martin Klebba as Melvin Weir, Quiton Aaron as Simon, William Ragsdale as Chris Smith, Lolo Jones as Lori, Gary Grubs as Dennis and Lance E. Nichols as Pastor Bruce Barnes.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give LEFT BEHIND three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Seriously, this could have been a hokey attempt at a film about the rapture but it really does carry itself well. There has been a market created for faith-based films that seems to be reaching a wide audience.
This isn’t a surprise considering, no matter what your faith, films are just outrageously loud, nude and ridiculous. It is obviously a genre that is accepted since the films are grossing well at the box office and families of faith are pretty thrilled to once again go to the movies.
Director Vic Armstrong directed YOUNG INDIANA JONES and JOSHUA TREE. Paul Lalonde is not only the producer but also the writer of the film. He created Stoney Lake Entertainment because he wanted to focus on faith-based films.
Do I think you have to be a person of faith to see the film? Not at all, the film does well enough explaining itself without thumping you in the head with the good book. I personally was into the interaction of those left behind!
In the end – the end has only just begun!