With the world still reeling from the Rapture, those left behind who became Christians band together to form what they call a Tribulation Force to stand against the forces of evil. Their leader, Bruce, encourages each of them to not hide from the new evil world but to find a way to reach other for Christ in it. Rayford struggles with a decision to pilot the plane of Nicolae Carpathia, the suspected antichrist. Buck Williams chases down a story regarding a messianic prophecy expert and two mysterious men at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. In the strange new world they live in, they also discover everyday struggles and the realization that following Jesus is no longer easy.
Production Quality (.5 point)
The second installment of the original Left Behind series is a low point. While video quality and camera work are okay, there are a host of other production errors. Special effects are cheesy, especially when it comes to action scenes. Many scenes have very poor lighting. The sets and locations are pretty good, but they are littered with cheap looking props. The soundtrack is pedestrian. Furthermore, the editing is very sub-par and fails to cut down quite a few long and drawn out scenes that drain the viewer’s attention span. Essentially, not much effort was put into this creation.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
Once again, for an apocalyptic thriller, there’s not much apocalyptic or thrilling about Tribulation Force. The film takes a very melancholy tone, choosing to spend time on silly conflicts like lover’s spats and peripheral character issues. There is little central focus as the plot meanders from job decisions to church services to turning the church into a hospital to chasing leads in the Middle East. There is also not enough suspense or plot twists as the monotone dialogue centers on theological discussions and information dumps. There are attempts at twists and psychological\spiritual elements, but they fall flat. There are too many one-dimensional characters that are juggled and we can’t really get to know any of them. Like its predecessor, Tribulation Force just gets ready for the inevitable next film without giving the viewer any reason to watch it except for the book series popularity. The actual end of the plot is quite cheesy and non-suspenseful. In short, if you missed this film, you didn’t miss much.
Acting Quality (1 point)
At least they returned all the same cast members. I hate it when movie franchises try to change out actors and actresses and pretend you didn’t notice. There is slight improvement among this cast and Kirk Cameron delivers arguably one of his best career acting performances. My how time has flown. This cast could have actually been great with better coaching. Alas, what could have been.
Unfortunately, John Patus and company elected to follow the standard Hollywood path of bringing a popular book franchise to the big screen and relied on the series’ popularity to carry it. There is little reason for this film to even exist except for the fact that it needed to for the series to continue. If you skipped to the third film, you didn’t miss anything in this one. This is the central problem to movie sagas: each one needs to be a good movie by itself without the other ones holding it up. There are few who have gotten this right.
Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points