Left Behind is Stupid…(And That’s Why it’s Fun)

Nicolas Cage is at it again! The guy who rescued us from chemical terrorism at Alcatraz and found national treasure in New York’s Trinity Church is now working to ensure we’re not left behind. If you’re anything like me – which I don’t necessarily recommend – you’ve probably seen the first full trailer of the new upcoming Left Behind film, based on the best selling series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

When I was in college, I devoured the book series because, well, it was pretty much the thing we Christian kids did while living in a world we were essentially led to believe was filled with so much unredeemable music, film, and literature, the only safe thing to do was consume entertainment deemed “Christian.” Today, I say that’s hogwash. Every story is redeemable and contains elements from which we can learn, grow, and respond. But that’s neither here nor there.

A decade removed from reading the Left Behind series, I have a confession to make: I liked it.

What?! That’s ridiculous, you say? Yeah, pretty much.

The Left Behind series is, by no means, quality fiction. Thankfully, I’ve consumed enough doses of great writing over the past decade to understand and reinforce that fact. And sure, it’s ultra cheesy, unbelievable in so many ways, possibly theologically whacked, and looooong as all get out (thirteen books in the original series plus three prequels). But you know what? It’s also a fun ride. Stuff is always moving and characters get killed left and right while trying to pull off stunts so crazy, the guys from Jackass would take a pass. And if you’re too cool to find a little enjoyment in something like that, I lovingly invite you to stand up and unclench so the bug can get out.

And now, another moment of honesty: I can’t wait to see this film!

I mean, duh! Nick Cage bringing all his Nick Cage-isms to the lead character of airline captain, Rayford Steele? Yes, please!

Look, I’ve made no secret in the past about my disdain for Christian-based films. The original Left Behind films with Kirk Cameron actually had me crying to be immediately raptured just so I could get as far away as possible from the crap playing on my screen. However, Tim LaHaye, the old end times preacher and the man who conceived of the Left Behind series twenty years ago, said of the new film, “There is no redemptive value to this movie.” So, at least that gives me some hope. And if the trailer is any indication, this new Left Behind flick actually looks halfway entertaining. Maybe even three quarters. Will it suck overall? Probably. But like the book series itself, hopefully it’ll at least be a fun ride.

Alan Atchison is a Contributing Writer to The Rogue. He is a Senior Publications Editor at the Center for the Advanced Study of India (University of Pennsylvania), where he also earned a Masters of Liberal Arts in Creative Writing. He lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and two daughters. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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