Left Behind

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Lea Thompson, Nicky Whelan,
Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Jordin Sparks,
Martin Klebba
Direction: Vic Armstrong
Genre: Thriller
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes

Story: Without any prior indication, the Rapture (an event referred to in the Bible) occurs and most of the planet’s population simply disappears. Of the people left behind are also some passengers in a commercial airplane on a flight. Not only do they have to make sense of what has happened, landing the crippled plane is also a concern.

Review: An aircraft pilot needs to be prepared to effectively handle various emergencies that can arise when the aircraft is in flight. However, handling an event known as the Rapture (where good people, essentially those who have not sinned, are snatched up to heaven, and the others are, well, left behind) is probably not in any pilot’s emergency handbook.

People’s physical bodies quite literally disappear in the blink of an eye with only their clothes, and whatever it is they were holding, lying in a heap on the floor. Rayford Steele (Cage) is a pilot who is bored of his wife Irene (Thompson). Their young daughter Chloe (Cassi) comes over to spend time with her parents as it is Rayford’s birthday weekend. However, the philandering Rayford isn’t too torn up when he receives sudden summons for a long-haul flight across the Atlantic.

Adding to that, he also has plans to bed the curvaceous stewardess (Whelan) as part of his own little birthday weekend fun on the side. So when the Rapture hits, Rayford, not exactly in the running for sainthood, is still around. Now, however, he has to deal with a plane load of panicky passengers and of course, try to get the plane back on the ground safely.

Back on terra firma, there’s chaos – cars collide, buses veer off cliffs and people run around helter-skelter. While meant to convey a global state of panic, such scenes are just not convincing enough. The basic premise of the film could have made for an engaging and far-out watch. The very concept of the Rapture could have been depicted with power and mystery, but instead the opposite is achieved in a film that just looks slapdash.

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