Final: The Rapture full movie review - God Deserves Better!
I'm a Christian but a very critical and curious one - I really want to see entertainment produced by Christians from a Christian perspective that rises to the level of the best of today's best secular entertainment.
This isn't it by a long shot.
Also, I watched this on Amazon Prime - to counter the slandering idiot who claims that all negative comments are from illegal downloaders.
This movie IS far better than the Left Behind series, and it does have excellent production values.
Sadly, Final: The Rapture is pure amateur hour, like almost all of its Christian brethren. The only reason you're going to give this movie a 10 and a praising review is if you love the idea of the movie so much that you're going to ignore its blindingly obvious faults.
Currently, and this film is no exception, almost all Christian end times movies are just plain bad in terms of plot, concept and writing. They aren't anywhere near the level of secular drama such as "House of Cards" or "The Walking Dead".
Also, if you love this movie, you're probably completely immersed in the creed of "decision theology", one of the biggest cons to hit Christianity since the papacy. More below.
In terms of movie making, this movie is amateurishly acted, with cartoonish stereotypes both of believers as well as non-believers. Almost everyone's emotional range in this movie is unnatural.
The atheist professor is a played as a sneering a-hole that you'd never find so openly antagonistic in any normal educational context. He practically twirls a non existent mustache as he continually puts down his student, the newly Christian wife of the pro athlete guy. His students who gang up on the few Christians in his class are likewise too overacted and glib.
The very best, deepest and most believable characterization in the movie is the dying Japanese reporter whose Christian friend convinces him that the rapture occurred. He is stalked by hit-men and hostile individuals throughout the movie to suppress his theory, and the idea that the Japanese government was suppressing the "truth" in cahoots with an international community was intriguing. His part was very well done and genuinely touching. Also, the Argentinian woman with amnesia ranks a close second, just for the feelings of chaos and pathos her performance and circumstances evoked.
The professor's story arc was idiotic and so was the pro athlete's. I was hoping for a rogue wave or a shark to finish off the prof. The ridiculously costumed and ethnographically offensive cliché natives apparently did the job and made dinner out of him. Good riddance: all he did was whine that the generator radio wasn't working.
Now, about the theology. The concept of "decision for Christ" which is presumed to lead to salvation is one foundation of the film's perspective. This "decision theology" as it's known is extremely common in our culture today both Christian and secular.
The idea is that an individual goes to a revival or watches the 700 Club or Benny Hinn, a "pop" occurs in his head, and he dramatically falls down on his knees tearfully and gives up his beer and reruns of "Trailer Park Boys" in favor of being completely devoted to Christ.
This is what many, many call "being saved", it's volitional and it's hard work and it demands effort. That's the idea.
However - OPEN YOUR MIND. This is simply not biblical. Google the phrase "decision theology" - read some of the criticism, particularly from some Lutheran sites - and get an idea of what theologians have to say about the notion that you can "will" Christ into your heart. Not one place in the Bible does it speak of decisions for Christ leading to salvation. We're chosen, "drafted" if you will, entirely and absolutely in God's timing.
In fact, there is continual debate about how many will actually be raptured. One specific hard figure that is Bible based and mentioned in conjunction with end times is 144,000. If you figure a world population of 7 billion, that would be one "truly saved" individual per 48.6 thousand human souls alive at that time.
I believe that the central premise of this film that constantly gets stated: "we thought we were saved because we were Christian but we really weren't" - will really be ALMOST EVERYONE'S experience, per the 144,000 body of the saved figure. Almost everyone will experience the tribulation. Even if they are a faithful Christian believer. No need for overly maudlin "regrets" over missed altar calls and other such malarkey.
I have faced evil people in my life and those who oppose real "mustard seed" faith. For one thing the evil is in the nature and the actions and the attitude, and is not spoken or visually evident per se. They don't twirl mustaches or put down Christ or God publicly. They may even be church leaders who constantly denigrate the truly faithful in subtle ways. Guys like the professor in the movie DO definitely exist, but a smart 130+ IQ man like this guy will simply be much more subtle and devious than shown - maybe not even willfully bad but acting against God anyway.
The real rapture may be a very small scale, scattered, diffuse, and most likely disregarded event mainly involving "nobodies" who had critical but unknown roles in God's plan for earth and humanity up until their vanishing. Perhaps a car or two runs off the road when it happens when the drivers vanish. But that doesn't make for a cheesy movie with explosions and teary eyed "salvation testimony".