The world falls into chaos as Nicolae Carpathia detonates nuclear devices across the globe and stages multiple devastating attacks against both the Tribulation Force and an international militia, led by U.S. President Gerald Fitzhugh.
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It's been eighteen months since Nicolae Carpathia's rise to power, and has been captivating the whole world, including President Fitzhugh. There are some far away, who suspect he's something more, the prophesied Antichrist. After a failed attempt on the President's life, Fitzhugh must call on Buck and Carolyn Miller to uncover the mystery. Meanwhile, the rest of the Trib Force group: Rayford Steele, daughter (and now Buck's wife) Chloe, Pastor Bruce Barnes and the newest member Amanda White to uncover the mystery. Soon the lives of President Fitzhugh and the Tribulation Force will be connected in ways they couldn't have imagined. Written by
It's no 'Nicolae." but it's pretty good for what it is
I actually saw this movie months before I had read any of the "Left Behind" books, so I give it props for not, say, turning me off of the Tim Lahaye/Jerry B. Jenkins series, which I really, really enjoy.
I had ... not bothered with the first two movies (and still have yet to see them, though I am more curious having since read the books) and since what I had heard about them was less than positive, I expected absolutely nothing from this movie. I think that perhaps I should go into EVERY movie expecting nothing, because I actually rather liked "Left Behind 3." Revelations is "scary (but it has a great ending)," but has always been one of my favorite passages in the Bible, so it was nice to see it depicted. I thought Louis Gosset, as President Fitzhugh was quite good, I enjoyed seeing Charles Martin Smith (for the about two seconds he was in there). Kirk Cameron bears the curse of having appeared in a show I watched as a child, which means I can never really take him seriously in any other role (the casts of such shows as "Saved By the Bell" and "Just the Ten of Us" share the same fate), but he was fine as Buck, "Chloe," "Ray," and Mrs. Kirk Cameron as "Hattie" were fine, as well(although, "there's just no other way to say this," Mrs. Cameron is a little too old to be Hattie, who was supposed to be about 27). Considering I had heard less-than-complimentary remarks about the acting, I was rather satisfied with the performances of everybody and actually rather pleasantly surprised with Gordan Currie ,who I knew from the oh-so-distinguished guest starring role of paralyzed Cousin Bobby in "Beverly Hills 90210," and has... come a long way since then. Before reading the books, I considered his performance (besides Gosset's, who, with all due respect, was clearly in another league) the most impressive, and now having read the books.. his eerily smooth portrayal is the most how I would imagine Nicolae from the books would like and act like.
What's not really faithful to the series is the script. Part 3 of the series is definitely not one-in-the-same as "Nicolae," the third book in the series. Instead of the Wrath of the Lamb and Tsion Ben-Judah, President Fitzhugh, who is the film's main character, joining in the militia-lead resistance movement against the Supreme Regional Potentate ('sadly,' I don't think he was referred to by that title) Nicolae "Jetty" Carpathia, while newlyweds Chloe and Buck and Rayford and Amanda (and Pastor Bruce Barnes) are faced with assisting the President in the resistance (and in changing his non-religious ways) and dealing with a mysterious virus that seems to be hitting the churches... The story more than passes the time and included some meaningful scenes that made me (and hopefully others) 'think.' While I wouldn't have minded if they had stuck more to the books (why were there no witnesses at the Wailing Wall, for example) and they'd best not do any more of these movies without including Tsion Ben-Judah, who is only one of the most pivotal characters for the rest of the series, I thought they well with this movie. I was pleased with the direction of Craig Baxley (who directed "The Storm of the Century," which, while not a masterpiece by any account, was entertaining and well worth a viewing) and I hope that as long as they make these, they will bring in some more strong performers, not stray so far from the stories that they are not being faithful to Revelations, and that they will not "leave behind" such important characters as Chaim Rosenweig, Moishe and Eli, and especially Tsion Ben-Judah.
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