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Album DescriptionOn an overseas flight, journalist Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron) and pilot, Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson) are caught in the most incredible event in history. Without warning, dozens of passengers disappear into thin air and millions more are missing from around the world. As chaos and anarchy engulf the world, both men desperately search for answers.
Part conspiracy theory and part religious message, Left Behind (based on the first in a series of runaway bestsellers by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins) is a passable, occasionally compelling thriller that turns the rapture and the ascendance of the Antichrist into something resembling a Robert Ludlum espionage potboiler. The beginning, though, is pure Stephen King: as morose pilot Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson) steers his jet plane toward London, comely flight attendant Hattie Daniels (Chelsea Noble) informs him that a number of passengers have disappeared--at 37,000 feet, leaving their neatly pressed clothes behind. And they're not the only ones who've gone missing. The mass disappearances throw the world into chaos, and the sinisterly compelling Nicolae Carpathia (Gordon Currie), head of the U.N., selflessly steps in to help broker peace among the world's nations. But is he as good intentioned as he seems?
Turns out the appropriately named Mr. Carpathia is behind a plot to rule the world and control its food supply, and intrepid reporter Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron, better than you'd expect) is onto him--with a little help from some biblical prophecies. Suffering the problem that befalls most first installments in a series of books and movies, Left Behind busies itself with the task of introducing characters and setting up expository plot lines, and audiences may be frustrated by the lack of action--Rayford's somewhat labored crisis of faith takes up a good chunk of the film. Still, it's an intriguing premise that should satisfy fans of the novel and possibly pick up a few more converts along the way (be warned, though, this is a modestly budgeted film that looks more like a cable TV movie than the latest James Bond extravaganza). And, if like a fair number of the film's characters, you can't figure out that someone named "Nicolae Carpathia" is a bad guy, then, well, you need to bone up on your evil villains. --Mark Englehart
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