With the recent release of Left Behind, starring Nicolas Cage, we look at the original movie that started it all, Left Behind (2000) starring Kirk Cameron. But how does it compare to the original? What did we think of this older film with a lower production value and budget? Find out in this episode of the FishFlix.com Christian Movie Podcast!
In the original film adaptation of Left Behind, we follow GNN news reporter Buck Williams, played by Kirk Cameron, as he begins to uncover a monumental political conspiracy. Meanwhile, millions of people simply disappear without a trace. Rumors begin to spread about the Christian rapture having taken place, and Buck Williams along with Rayford and Chloe Steele begin to wonder if this marks the beginning of the End times.
15 years ago when this movie released, it was a very different time. The Christian film industry was almost nonexistent at this point. There were a few independent Christian movies being made with a very low budget, but these were still few and far between. When Left Behind released, it was a very big deal. The producers touted it as the biggest and most ambitious Christian movie to ever be made.
Looking back on this film, it does feel a bit dated. The scripting isn’t perfect, the production budget is obviously very low, but we have to take into account what things were like when this movie released. As I said before, this was a big deal. For the time, this was an impressive feat. Christian book to film adaptations were almost nonexistent and a film of Left Behind was something new and exciting that we could all get on board with.
Despite some of its flaws, it really is a good movie and I enjoyed it. One scene in particular will always stick with me, of a pastor who discovers he was living a lie. He never truly believed in the Bible himself, and he is dumbstruck when he finds that he is not taken in the rapture. He has to learn how to deal with this blow to his faith and he has to decide will he choose to live his faith for real, or will he turn his back on God completely?
One big difference between this movie and the new reboot with Nicolas Cage is the subplot of Nicolae Carpathia and the political intrigue. While the new film has a very linear storyline, the original Left Behind introduces this second plot to help fill out the script and give the narrative more depth. We at FishFlix.com thought this was a great addition as it sets up a lot of plot points that will come into play a lot more heavily in the sequel. It kept me a lot more engaged with the story as I genuinely wanted to know more about this political conspiracy.
While Left Behind is certainly starting to show its age 15 years later, I still think it’s a classic and definitely worth adding to your library. It was a milestone in the Christian film industry and surely sparked a lot more interest in this new and rapidly growing medium.
This movie is fairly family friendly, featuring only a couple instances of language and no explicit sexual content. There is some violence in this movie, and we do see a few characters get murdered on-screen. The gore is kept to a minimum, however. We like to follow the Dove Foundation’s rating, which rates this movie appropriate for ages 12 and up.
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