Reviews: Left Behind
Not without flaws, but still the best end-times series I've read
Up to this day, no one has dared to bring us what amounts to a complete fictional blueprint of the times leading to Christ's second coming. Not that it doesn't have its flaws, like its writing and some possible theological errors, but overall it brings the whole matter of the Tribulation down to a very personal level, concentrating mostly on its main character Rayford Steele as he goes through hell on earth after his wife and son are taken in the Rapture, and with the second main character Buck Williams trying to make sense of it all for more than just trying to get a good story to write about. Trying to connect the global and the cosmic to the personal is no easy task, and yet I get the sense that the local world of the heroes connects with everything else that's going on. As for calling the Tribulation Force The Pirates Who Dont Do Anything, I think it's doing them a major disservice if one doesn't take into account that as newly-born Christians, they have to take their orders from God and can't just do their own thing for La Resistance, although Rayford does try doing his own thing in regards to Nicolae Carpathia, the book's main villain.
We watched the film for my college class on end of the world movements. At one point, I leaned over to a friend and commented "And now the car explodes." Three seconds later... BOOM! She asked if I'd seen it before and I told her, "No, it's just that badly done and predictable." The entire movie is pretty much all like that. About the only good thing I can say is that it's so heavy-handed and blatant in showing it's hand that you could use it to explain foreshadowing to a five year old.
Most apocalyptic fiction is So Bad Its Good, largely due to their creators' paranoia, extreme isolationism and sociopathic tendencies. This is why I seriously recommend the Chick Tracts, which are among the best ways to spend your afternoon. This? Left Behind is only entertaining in the first book, when it's stupidity is so over the top you can't help but love it. Posterior books, however, become the vessel of so much hatred and bile that it becomes far too mean-spirited to tolerate. I strongly reccomend the first book if you want a good laugh. The others, only in case you run out of fuel. Or toilet paper.