Friday, November 25, 2005

DVD Review: Left Behind: World at War

It's been eighteen months since the mysterious disappearance of millions of people. The world has managed to recover from what the Bible refers to as the Rapture and 172 world governments have consolidated power in one Global Community under the leadership of Nicolae Carpathia (Gordon Currie) . On the surface, everything appears to be peaceful as nations have willingly laid down their arms in the name of world peace. President Gerald Fitzhugh (Lou Gossett, Jr.) has led the United States into this alliance - a decision he will soon regret. Vice President John Mallory (Charles Martin Smith) informs the President that Carpathia is about to unleash a biological weapon on the United States. Fitzhugh barely has time to let the news sink in before Mallory is assasainated and the United States is plunged into war. Fitzhugh turns to reporter Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron) and militia member Carolyn Miller (Jessica Steen) for help in trying to stop Carpathia before it's too late.

This third installment of the Left Behind movie series was surprisingly well done. The action is taught and the movie left me on the edge of my seat even when the characters would stop to pray. Christians are portrayed realistically without resorting to overused stereotypes. They are not fearless warriors of faith but rather human beings that are struggling to understand how God can allow war and death to continue to persist.

This installment also cleary benefits from the financial backing of Sony Pictures which was willing to support the film and provide the larger production budget necessary to create many of the special effects so well utilized through the film.

The filmmakers were also not afraid to also deal with the spiritual content which is clearly at the heart of the novels. The characters (particularly Fitzhugh) are on a spiritual journey that causes them to face danger head on and evaluate their lives in very spiritual terms.

Overall, this is a well-produced film and probably the best of the series thus far. Left Behind: World at War not only entertains but presents the truth of the Bible squarely in front of the audience and will no doubt cause careful self-examination by anyone who watches the film. Even those viewers unfamiliar with the books or previous films can still find this movie enjoyable.

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