Left Behind III: World at War (2005)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Message Movie, Political Thriller  |   Release Date - Oct 21, 2005 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Canada , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Born-again Christian Kirk Cameron may be the driving force behind spreading the word of God in the Left Behind movies, but his character, Buck Williams, spends the third installment sitting on his hands. And while it's a major dramatic flaw to give the protagonist nothing to do -- Buck literally sits around his apartment, wringing his hands, asking God for guidance -- this questionable narrative choice actually benefits Left Behind: World at War, because it gives us more of Lou Gossett Jr. Gossett Jr. plays the president of the United States, and after two movies' worth of earnest Christians pontificating about Jesus Christ, it's a breath of fresh air to see a secular man of action who just gets things done. Of course, you have to subtract some points by considering that this man is the president, yet the story involves him in numerous gun battles and fisticuffs -- activities that are usually left to lower-level staffers. Left Behind: World at War has this undeniable ridiculous factor throughout, but in general, it's a more polished cinematic product than its predecessors. Craig R. Baxley's film is shot and edited with veteran know-how, but it doesn't have the budget to depict the apocalyptic global collapse at the heart of the story, and the plot doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Still, neither does World at War contain the kind of howlingly funny gaffes that its critics might hope to find. For the second film in a row, Gordon Currie makes a seductively creepy villain, playing the Antichrist as a billionaire businessman who vaults himself into the role of world dictator. He's still standing at the end, so Cloud Ten Pictures will surely be compelled to make a fourth Left Behind movie -- regardless of whether the potential for profit actually supports that decision.