Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist

It’s time for the Left Behind series to continue. It’s gotten quite a few installments over the years although since this is in the reboot series we have not yet passed where the first trilogy left off. It’s another solid look at how the end times may look and why you absolutely do not want to be living through this period. Trust me on this, the easiest way to survive this era is not to be in it but if you do end up sticking around I imagine things could look a lot like how they are in this movie.

The film focuses on Buck as he continues his reporting career and is trying to find out the truth behind the vanishings. He uncovers a global conspiracy about a company that is profiting behind this tragedy and seems to be feeding the world fake data to keep everyone terrified. Unfortunately the company he works for is owned by this group so he will need to find another way to let the truth out. Is there any way to do this when most of the media has already been taken over? Meanwhile Rayford is still coming to terms with his wife having already vanished and wondering if perhaps she was right about the Bible all along.

In this film the rapture already happened so a lot of it’s about the fall-out. As the film takes place recently we get to see this in more of a technological background this time. You have hackers running around with the data and people are losing very quickly to the villains’ plans. For most of the film we see that the head of this operation is Stonagal but of course in watching the original films you know he can’t be the main villain. Additionally within the film’s context you figure it can’t be him because the Antichrist is supposed to rise up as a hero that humanity falls in line with. Stonagal is someone who does things in secret while the whole film shows how everyone looks up to Carpathia. Pretty suspicious eh?

The film does a good job of showing the stakes here and also just how dangerous the outside world is. After all, if every Christian suddenly vanished then a lot of goodness also left the world. There are absolutely a lot of nonbelievers who are still good people but now the ratio of good and evil has had a significant shift so you have to be watching your back the whole time. If anything I dare say the situation would be a lot worse than how it is in the film. Chloe gets attacked at one point and Pastor Bruce is beaten up but you almost figure that would be a daily occurrence and everyone will be getting shot in the streets for a while. You’d probably expect Bruce to be murdered quick while he was in the Church too since it feels like that would really be a massive target.

I liked how the film addressed the different theories of what was going on. After all when the rapture does happen, a significant amount of people aren’t going to believe in it. We already know this to be true but the question would be “Why?” because it would seem to be such a no brainer. All it would take is a quick google search and for most people even if they don’t believe in God, they know about the rapture as an event. So for everyone to dismiss it out of pocket you would need a strong reason and the reasoning the film gave is what I would expect us to see in real life too.

For starters, the Bible was removed on every app and web browser so no more looking up verses to check your memory. Next would probably be to upload fake versions online. Then you had the government claiming a second wave of vanishings. Now, Buck found this out to be false rather quickly but in real life I think it would go a bit darker. You’d probably have a ton of people get murdered to make the vanishings appear to be even more real. It’s the kind of thing you could probably stage on a large scale.

Now if we’re nitpicking here, there will be a substantial amount of doubters and people who realize what is going on but they just won’t have a public voice. Most likely they’d be taken off the air right away so in these scenarios remember that there would be a resistance but they would certainly be the minority before long. There’s a reason why this period is supposed to be hell on earth after all. Even among the 7 years of peace, sure there won’t be a formal war but you can expect to be in a lot of trouble personally. I’d pretty much guarantee it, the odds of you surviving without a scratch are slim to none.

Buck makes for a good lead and he is trying his best. I actually agreed with him on at least trying to do something. The one time I disagreed with Rayford and the others is when they try telling Buck not to go and warn the world about what Stonagal is planning because as they say it’s inevitable that the antichrist will win. I mean that may be true on Earth there but you have to do what you can in the meantime right? I’d say they come around to his side after that since they start helping out like with the flyers but for a bit there Buck was really on his own. By the end he sees the light and will be able to help out a lot more there.

Unfortunately I don’t think the film nails Carpathia as a villain quite as well as the first trilogy. The famous execution scene was not handled nearly as well here. The film tried a lot of fun visual and audio effects here but what ended up happening is that it was over produced instead of letting the scene play out. It was the scariest moment in the original trilogy but it doesn’t land the same way here. My only other main issue with the film is the narrator. I thought it was just too heavy handed and didn’t add anything to the film. Narration can work (Although in most cases you shouldn’t even attempt it) but it has to add insight to a scene that you couldn’t get visually. When you’re just stating the obvious then it can be distracting in the wrong way.

Rayford does well in his subplot and finally sees the light. He helps Chloe on this as well and ultimately gets Pastor Bruce back in the game as well. So as a contrast Buck is trying to stop the villains through the media while Rayford is trying to help the others out on a more personal level one at a time. They are slowly starting to set up a possible romance for Rayford though and I hope this film doesn’t go through with it because that was absolutely a weak subplot from the first trilogy.

I’d say Pastor Bruce probably has the toughest situation here in a lot of ways. It’s easy to see how broken he is because it has to be devastating knowing that you were so close to going up but just didn’t believe. It’s like when you know something but not enough to actually do it. Bruce never actually accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior and lost his passion somewhere down the line. Definitely a tragic arc for him even if he is bouncing back now.

Overall, Left Behind shows the desolation of what the future will bring while also keeping in the hope that people will be saved. After all, new Christians will go through a lot in the end times but it doesn’t take away from the fact that there will be new ones. So the message is that it’s never too late but this is also something you should never procrastinate. The sooner you become a Christian and achieve your eternal salvation and safety the better. Tomorrow is never guaranteed and you really don’t want to be here for those last days. Whatever trials you’ve already endured will pale in comparison to what happens in that era. This is definitely a good film to check out on this.


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