Left Behind: World at War
Left Behind III
Nicholas Tabarrok, Peter Lalonde, André van Heerden, Paul Lalonde (executive) for Cloud Ten, Columbia
directed by Craig Baxley
starring Louis Gossett jr, Kirk Cameron, Brad Johnson, Jessica Steen, Gordon Currie, Janaya Stephens, Charles Martin Smith, Shaun Austin-Olsen, Laura Catalano, Tim Eddis, David Eisner, Richard Fitzpatrick, Jasmin Geljo, Phillip Jarrett, David Macniven, Chelsea Noble, Arnold Pinnock, Martinrandez, Jeff Teravainen, Russell Yuen, Elias Zarou
screenplay by Paul Lalonde, Peter Lalonde, André van Heerden, based on a novel by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B.Jenkins, music by Gary Chang, special effects by John LaForet
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Nicolai Carpathia (played with increasing menace and arrogance by Gordon
Currie) has made a comeback from his rather humiliating defeat in Tribulation
Force. He is rising to power, has plans to attack the United States which is
the last holdout for his plan to rule the world, and has come to realize there
are some pesky bornagainers out there who realize his true identity. He
goes after the biblethumpers with bootleg bibles that have been infected by
deadly germs. He doublecrosses the President of the USA (Louis Gossett jr) and gloats
as nuclear bombs start to fall at the end.
Likewise, Carpathia doesn't bother to mask his demonic powers any more.
Attempts to assassinate him fail. Bullets go through him, he heals like a
vampire or werewolf hit with regular bullets and even survives a direct hit
with a missile, walking out of his crumbled, burning skyscraper at the end,
with the most chilling smirk imaginable. He looks like a demon emerging from
the flames of hell, strutting right into the lens, in a masterful closing. The
message of more to come couldn't be more obvious.
Gossett and Currie steal the show, though all the other actresses and actors
play their parts well. Chelsea Noble comes across much more developed and perplexing
this go around, while her husband Kirk Cameron again plays his part well. The
others likewise fall into line and give some interesting moments on screen.
Once again, the religious element comes through quite heavily, as Cloud Ten is
one of these "faith-based" production companies. In fact, the film
made a nationwide debut in October, ironically close to Halloween, throughout
the USA. Yet they did not run it in theatres, they ran it in churches. It
felt quite peculiar for me to go to a church to see this thing. Suffering in
the name of the Lord took on new meaning for me, but actually going into a
church was a small penalty to pay in order to watch this movie. The reaction
was favorable, though one woman in the back kept saying Amen and Praise the Lord at key spiritual points. Now I know this would be
a good thing, meaning the message was hitting home with her, but it made me
want to let out a stark Praise Nicolai when he walked out of the
flames at the end, just to see the expression on her face. Wanting to escape
the church without being exorcised, however, I decided against this vocal
tidbit of praise.
The following week the DVD was on sale in Wal-Mart chains and was reportedly
selling out in several stores.
The addition of established horror director, Craig Baxley, likewise proved a boon to
the film, as his experience in this realm made for far more creepy scenes than
in the past films in the series. Hopefully he will be around for other films
from this company in the future.
Maybe I am missing the point, just as I did when I saw the first two of the
series. I really don't think anyone is supposed to cheer for the Antichrist.
review © by Dale Pierce
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