Thursday, June 19, 2014

An Atheist's Nightmare: 'Left Behind'

Since we know homophobic evangelical ignoramus Kirk Cameron's modi operandi always revolve around pimping out his various 'ministries', let's see how 'The Way of the Master' - the hilarious and grotesque series he does with that one guy who's obsessed with bananas - handles the straight-to-video 'Left Behind.' As one new to such 'ministries,' I'm in need of some basics, so a correlation between the plot of this movie and the relevant 10 (alleged) Principles for New Christians should help ground me in Cameron's 'ministries.' Yeah, Imma keep writing that word like that until it sticks.

We begin the movie with a bang, and by a bang I mean a bunch of shots of tourists wandering around Jerusalem. THE HORROR! Kirk Cameron, known in this universe by the hardboiled moniker Buck Fuckley (that's not his real last name, but things that rhyme are better than things that don't rhyme), intrepid reporter, stands in a clearly GMO-engineered wheat field outside of the city. The old dude who is responsible for this isn't God - he's a scientist, who's psyched to use his Eden Project (oy) to end world hunger, which I guess starts in Israel. Three minutes later there's a massive airstrike, with so many digital planes I feel like I'm playing Galaga. As the skies inexplicably blacken, Buck and Old Dude hustle for cover into a run-down hut, which turns out to be a super high tech secret underground facility, because of course it is. It feels like there should be a Jaeger or two lying around in there to help out, or at least WOPR, but instead there's just a bunch of people pointing at maps and an Israeli commander yelling in bewilderment because "all the electronics are jammed." I thought Israel had nukes and one of the world's best militaries? No? Just checking.

Principle 4: Prayer - Wait For A Minute

        According to the Way of the Master, this one's easy. This would definitely be a moment in the movie where prayer would work and save everyone, right? In order to get "clean hands and a pure heart," you have to confess your sins through prayer. It probably wasn't Kirk Cameron's intent, but that makes me think of "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," and then I think of Tim Riggins, and then I'm happy. So I guess it works!

Well, Thank God (TM Kirk Cameron) Buck Fuckley's on the case, because he grabs his trusty camera and runs back outside to film the situation. Back at wherever he's broadcasting to, a bunch of his colleagues are transfixed by his Pulitzer Prize-worthy commentary. A kooky woman with a bizarre swirly bindi on her forehead begs Buck to get out, while a man notes that Buck would have filmed Hiroshima from ground zero if he'd been there, a statement which reads on so many levels of horrible I need some Clorox sprayed on my brain to get rid of it.

Then, holy shit! Moses comes around the corner and spews a prophecy, and then wanders off to get an espresso.

Moving on. Some fake 'N Sync plays while a handsome fellow in a commercial pilot captain's uniform washes his face. He comes downstairs to his nuclear family just in time to say something demeaning to his teenage daughter, pick a fight with his wife and flip 'tude to the family's reverend. Looks like somebody needs to get SAVED! Aaaaand we have our story arc.

Principle 2: Faith - Elevators Can Let You Down
       According to the Way of the Master, God will never let you down if you trust him. Crafting a metaphor for spiritual faith which involves an elevator going up and down is extremely logical. From this I get that Handsome Captain needs to ride up and down in an elevator, and then he will find his faith.

After Buck Fuckley meets up with an informant who's positive the world's going to end because of banking and the CIA (maybe I had this movie all wrong!), he reviews his footage of Moses and is startled to hear him speaking Hebrew, when he was SURE he heard him in English before. What can this mean? We don't know, because this movie refuses to let us understand one single plot point before hurtling on to the next! In this case, it's to go to London, where a different handsome fellow from the U.N. appears to be in cahoots with some kind of shady banking kingpin who shows him a blueprint for what looks like Solomon's Temple. WOT IS DIS MYSTERY! Only Buck Fuckley can esplain, but he's too busy flying on an airplane piloted by Handsome Captain. After a brief exchange with a flight attendant who apparently got promoted to U.N. delegate thanks to some strings that Buck Fuckley pulled, we discover that Handsome Captain is TRYING TO HAZ AN AFFAIR WITH HER. This revelation pales in comparison to the revelation Buck Fuckley subsequently has, which is that a bunch of people on the plane have been spirited away, leaving their clothes behind!

Now, if this movie had any stones (meaning, of course: how I would do it), what would happen next is: Buck Fuckley would land the plane in a jungle and then the remaining people would have to battle dinosaurs using only their wits, their sexuality and whatever tools they can fashion from the plane. Since nobody asked me, this is what happens instead:

The Pilot's daughter (sporting a nose ring and a choker - thank you, 'Left Behind' costume designer!) comes across a huge accident perpetrated by people-less clothes. It turns out that loads of people everywhere are gone! Now, I need the Way of the Master here, because I thought the people who would be Left Behind (TM Kirk Cameron) would be sinners and shit, and yet there are all these perfectly good and kind people still hanging around. What gives?

Principle 5: Warfare - Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

        According to the Way of the Master, the world, the devil and the flesh are enemies of God. There's also something in here about floating with dead fish, but I may need more 'ministry' to understand that. Mainly, God is "bringing every work to judgement," so all these people must be sinners and Buck Fuckley's still here to show everyone the Way [of the Master]? Yes?

Handsome Captain lands the plane in Chicago and Buck Fuckley calls Kooky Bindi, asking her to get a hold of Dirk Burton, the crazed conspiracy theorist from earlier. I wish I'd made up that name, but I didn't; someone else called an 'author' did. Buck Fuckley tries to convince Handsome Captain to fly him to New York (in his commercial jet? All by himself? I guess solving world hunger's OK, but perpetrating a fuel shortage crisis is no big whoop) because "it's really important." Well, I'm convinced! They go to Handsome Captain's house, where it looks like his wife and son took off with the Langoliers as well.

Why does he care? He was trying to fuck that U.N. delegate! Handsome Captain starts to read the Holey Bibley, showing us the story arc is working. His daughter comes home just in time to create evangelical Christian sexual tension with Buck Fuckley. She wants to help him, but he won't let her go outside because "it's madness out there," even though when they do go out the only things we see are an old couple walking sorrowfully down the block and a dog waiting for its owner to come back from The Rapture (TM Kirk Cameron). Thank you, Buck Fuckley, for attempting to assert the patriarchy! A mercurial private pilot costumed like professional lunatic Randy Quaid in 'Independence Day' gets Buck to New York with the alacrity of Brad Pitt shuttling around the planet hunting zombies.

Back in Chicago, the reverend friend of Handsome Captain is FREAKING OUT because he thinks he was a fraud. Wait a sec - if there was a Rapture (TM Kirk Cameron), then wouldn't he be proven right? The poor bastard goes on an 'acting' tirade the likes of which haven't been experienced since 'The Room,' yelling from the pulpit and falling on his knees and bawling so hard that Handsome Captain starts bawling too. The music swells, light spills through a stained glass church window, and I begin to feel nauseous, as though I've eaten a Thomas Kinkade painting.

Principle 7: Thanksgiving - Do The Right Thing

        According to the Way of the Master, this has nothing to do with Spike Lee. It has to do with "seeing more from your knees, than you do from your tip toes [sic]." As the reverend is bawling on his knees, I think he has Principle 7 under control.

Buck Fuckley's conspiracist friend is dead at the hand of the shady banking kingpin, so it's up to Buck, his Kooky Girl Friday and her similarly kooky roommate (or possibly lover? YES PLZ) to unravel some kind of secret code thingie that has to do with those blueprints we saw earlier. As Buck says, we're looking for a connection between the Temple, the GMO field and the destroyed planes. Yeah, you and me both, man! All the sweaters are unraveling!

Meanwhile, Handsome Boutros Boutros-Ghali and the Old Dude are hanging out at the U.N. (what is it with the U.N.?!), discussing the blueprints and a formula, and generating greater overall confusion about the plot of this movie. Boutros tells the world via Fox News that "accumulated radiation" is responsible for 140 million people going missing, which sounds a little bit like swamp gas reflecting the light from Venus, but what do I know? Kooky Bindi thinks he's making perfect sense, and since she's the arbiter of logic in this movie, it must be true. She does some more research that confuses me further, spurring Buck to get back on that plane and fly BACK to Chicago, where he figures out (finally) that all these shenanigans (save the one shenanigan that's actually interesting, namely: people magically disappearing from the earth) have to do with the shady banking kingpin using Boutros as a puppet to get something and someone formula money world hunger la la la la. He's TOO CLOSE TO THE TROOF, because he almost gets in a car that blows up!

Handsome Captain and his daughter comes to Buck's rescue; or, rather, they sensibly take him to get medical attention in the reverend's church office, rather than at a hospital. You're thinking, give me a break! How can a reverend possibly have medical equipment in his office that can clean and set Buck's shattered kneecap? But he's got something better: THE TROOF! Buck doesn't believe that The Rapture (TM Kirk Cameron) could be responsible for all those people vanishing, so the reverend, Handsome Captain and his daughter trot this out:

Principle 10: Troubleshooting - Cults, Atheists, Skeptics

        According to the Way of the Master, a repairman with a B.A. in the study of heat can tell you that a hot heater isn't hot, and you shouldn't believe him. That is TROOF! I would never believe any bullshit some guy with a B.A. in Heat Studies would tell me. Also: "the way to prevent sporting injury and pain, is to keep yourself fit. Exercise.[sic]" Principle 10 is extremely helpful! Thanks, Principle 10!

Kirk Cameron tries to convince us that he's playing a role by delivering this line: "Whoever this Antichrist guy is, he's gonna have one big war on his hands if he tries to rebuild this temple anytime soon!"

I just threw this in here because I didn't want to get to the end of this review without it.

The reverend believes peace is coming in the Middle East, while Buck - on the verge of converting to evangelical Christianity right under our noses - goes running off instead to "do something," forgetting that he's blown out his kneecap and gotten substandard medical care for it besides. He teleports to the U.N., where he has a crying epiphany in the bathroom while back in Chicago Handsome Captain and his daughter work on helping him out with a remote application of Principle 4. Buck's epiphany shows him that Boutros is THE ANTICHRIST GASP! Boutros starts going around in the U.N. doing crazy Antichrist shit like mind control and shooting the shady banker kingpin in the head, while his Whore of Babylon, the slutty former flight attendant, looks evil and tries to convince Buck that everything's OK. Buck knows that's some BULL-SHIT, because, well, Antichrist, and he goes back to the daughter and the church and Handsome Captain in order to...what? Build a rad army to fight the Antichrist? Actually figure out what the hell is going on? Make felt-and-macaroni banners? I'm assuming there's a sequel or twenty, because I've been left hangin' like Mr. Cooper here. Kirk Cameron, though, would probably tell me that the answers are all in the 10 (alleged) Principles for New Christians. Thanks, Kirk Cameron, for showing me The Way of the Master!

You guys don't have to watch the movie - just watch this video, which is basically one lyric away from a Nickelback song. Hence:

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