Hello all! I hope you had a splendid holiday! Me, I came down with a cold that’s still got me snuffling all over the place (blargh), but I also got a marvelous pair of Deathly Hallows earrings, so all in all I feel that I broke even.
We now return to our feature presentation … Revelation Part 2 of 3!
Last week, I stopped a few minutes short of the 1/3 mark, but not much happened during that time. All we missed was Stone waking up and enlisting the help of his ex-partner’s hacker friend. Then Creepy False Prophet tortured some Christians.
Creepy False Prophet seems to be doing most of the legwork in this global take-over, by the way. Already he’s single-handedly overseeing the world news station, the police force, and the shady secret anti-Christian operations. Macalusso had better start carrying his own weight in this conspiracy or Creepy False Prophet might just decide to ditch him and make himself Antichrist.
We pick up with Stone and Hacker Guy (real name: Willie Spino), who verifies that the mysterious disc is definitely a government program. Due to a lucky coincidence, it’s the same program that he’s been working on!
Or not so lucky after all, because he doesn’t have the password, so he still can’t get in. He does explain that its a virtual reality program that’s going to be released on the Day of Wonders.
“Don’t you know what’s on your own program?” says Stone, but Hacker Guy shakes his head. He only created the system, he says, not the content.
“It’s like I built the VCR, and this is some top secret video tape,” he says. Ah, the 90’s.
Meanwhile, False Prophet interrogates the woman who gave Stone the disc. He releases an interesting tidbit of information: he almost became a Christian once. But he changed his mind because the Christian religion only allows for one god, and he wanted to be a god too.
It’s interesting how many Rapture stories follow this pattern: the only reason non-Christians defy God is because they want to be gods too. Has any writer asked a non-fundamentalist why they don’t endorse fundamentalism? Because if they did, I doubt anyone would list, “God won’t let me be God!” as their first objection.
No one asks, so back to Stone. Hacker Guy decides to show him the program he’s talking about. He hands Stone a virtual reality headset. Stone puts it on, and seconds later the two of them are standing on a realistic-looking beach. Stone looks down and sees himself in his own body and his own clothes. Hacker Guy also looks the same but minus the wheel chair he uses to get around in real life. My mind is buzzing with questions on how this is done, and apparently Stone’s is too.
“How is this possible?” [Stone asks.]
“It’s not how. It’s who?”
Hacker Guy nods. That’s all the explanation we get, but, strangely, it works. Merging into sci fi/fantasy territory was a great move for this series. Finally, after so, so much confusion, we’ve settled into a genre where the characters can say, “Magic!” and leave it at that.
Also, it’s nice to see that Macalusso’s been working on some sort of nefarious scheme and hasn’t left everything up to False Prophet.
Just to destroy this perfectly normal movie moment, Hacker Guy decides to show off how safe the VR program is by picking up a conch shell and shredding open his own chest! Stone is freaked out, and so am I! Doesn’t he know if you die in the Matrix, you die in real life?! It’s like watching a busty blond girl run upstairs to get away from a killer–every movie you’ve ever seen tells you this won’t end well.
But, of course, Revelation predates The Matrix, so this doesn’t occur to Hacker Guy. He thinks it’s hilarious. He laughs and takes his headset off, and his chest is fine, if a little pasty. The doorbell rings and Stone jumps, but it’s just the delivery man with a spiffier VR headset.
The delivery man asks Hacker Guy for his global ID, which he presents. Both parties act as if this is routine. Interesting. So have Global IDs been instituted since the Rapture, or are we to assume that they arose a few years ago around the same time as the global news network?
Either way, as was the case with Left Behind, I’m amazed at how intact the government’s infrastructure is. Only 3 months after an earth-shattering disaster and, not only are they up-to-date on “every man, woman, and child” who survived, but they have the resources to equip them all with spiffy headsets.
Hacker Guy and Stone agree that Creepy False Prophet must be up to something, so Hacker Guy turns himself in for reasons I’m not quite clear on, and then he and Stone flee. Meanwhile, Creepy False Prophet says … wait, what? What? Can this be true?!
FALSE PROPHET REVEALS HIS MOTIVATION!
Why is this exciting, you ask? Because, as we all know, God is going to win at the end of every Rapture movie. This is no secret to us, and it’s no secret to the characters. That’s the whole premise. All the good guys know that God wins.
The thing is, all the bad guys know it too. So why are they bad guys? Why fight God if you know he’s going to win? This is something we hear nothing of in Left Behind I and II, Apocalypse, or Omega Code. So when a major villain reveals his motivation, however dumb it is, I’m psyched!
And here it is! False Prophet believes that if he either kills or converts every Christian on the planet, Jesus will have no one to come back for. Then, presumably, he and Antichrist will get to keep the earth for themselves. Hm. Normally I’d say I’m not sure how feasible that plan is, but then again he’s made amazing headway in a span of only 3 months. If total religiocide of Christians was going to happen in any movie universe, it would be this one.
Scene change. Ah. Apparently Hacker Guy turned himself in because he put a tracking chip on his dog, claimed it was attached to Stone, and sent the government off after the tracking chip. Except the dog runs back to where he and Stone are waiting, so I’m not sure how that was supposed to help. Whatever. It seems to have worked.
Hacker Guy takes Stone to the Christian hide-out, where the Christians apparently spend most of their time watching Jack Van Impe and wishing there was something to do other than watch Jack Van Impe.
“If only we had that disc!” says Hannah just as Hacker Guy and Stone arrive to save the day! Turns out Helen Hannah is Hacker Guy’s step-sister, which is cute, but why on earth did Macalusso hire the step-brother of the most wanted woman on the planet to program the biggest event in recent history? He couldn’t have predicted something like this would happen?
Cindy and Hacker Guy engage in a little flirtatious banter. Cindy’s blind, so they bond over their mutual disabilities. She also mentions that she’s a vegetarian, and, again, I just have a feeling she’s going to be punished for this. .
Meanwhile, Helen is aghast at Stone because he thinks space aliens are carrying out Bible prophecy as part of a plan to take us over when clearly God is the one carrying out Bible prophecy as part of a plan to take us over.
Helen tries to cajole Stone into believing in God, but Stone tells a sad story about how he believed in God before watching his mother die of cancer caused him to lose his faith. It’s a genuinely sad story. No one should have to go through that. Thankfully, Helen doesn’t give him some platitude about how “It’s all part of God’s plan.” She seems to not know quite how to respond. All she can say is that he’s making a mistake.
Helen is in an unfortunate position. She knows that God has done a cruel thing by allowing Stone’s mother to die so painfully. She also knows that if she doesn’t convince Stone to love this cruel God, God’s going to do something even more cruel and send him to hell for eternity.
It must be terrible to be a Christian in a post-Rapture story.
Scene change. Hacker Guy manages to get into the mysterious disc and test out the VR program for the Day of Wonders, but its completely blank. Odd. I’m actually eager to see what happens next, which is also odd.
Scene change. Hannah and Stone talk about God some more. Stone wants to know why God won’t show himself. It’s the kind of conversation I wouldn’t get into with a Christian today, but in a post-Rapture society it’s exactly the sort of thing you need to ask. Why isn’t God showing himself? God has now shown that he has no trouble interfering in human affairs. Why interfere in some and not others? Why only during the war, and why this particular war, and why this particular battle? Why didn’t he show himself twenty years ago to a little boy who’s mother was dying of cancer?
Those are hard questions. Hannah tries to offer answers, but mostly she sits by calmly as Stone bitches God out, which I think is what Stone needed from the conversation anyway. Sometimes you really just have to bitch at God.
We take a breather from all the intense questions without answers to watch Hacker Guy and Cindy flirt again. It’s cute until Hacker Guy literally starts barking at her. Ummmm… what? That’s the part where I’d leave the room and ask my friend Helen if I can sit with her ’cause her brother is creeping me out.
But Cindy thinks its cute, so ok.
Now that we’re done with what I think was supposed to be comic relief, we’re back to Hannah and Stone. This is an odd conversation. Helen speaks compassionately, as if it’s really a talk between a suffering person and someone trying to console him, but most of her lines have me whatting all over the place.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
[Macalusso] claims to be our creator, but, at the heart of it, his message isn’t about love at all. It’s about power and selfishness.
Have you read the Old Testament, Helen? Might want to crack open the Book of, say, Job. God’s definitely not all about love either.
“Can you imagine sitting down and telling [your daughter] that, in the name of success, she should kill anyone who stands in the way of her dreams? Isn’t that exactly what Macalusso is telling the world?”
Well, no. Macalusso has never said anything like this. Maybe this is a case of telling not showing, and Helen is now telling the audience what Macalusso has said offscreen. Or maybe we’re supposed to read this meaning into the few comments we’ve heard him make. Either way, it’s a little late in the movie to introduce this idea like it’s common knowledge.
“God doesn’t want to win you with cheap tricks…”
Just with the threat of eternal damnation.
“He just wants you to reach into your heart and answer one question: do you believe in him?”
And if the answer’s no, you burn forever! *hugs*
Scene change again! Hacker Guy and Cindy continue flirting. Hacker Guy asks her to take off her glasses because “I’ve never seen you without them.” Uh, dude? You’ve only known her for five minutes. She takes them off, though, and he tells her she’s beautiful. That part’s kind of sweet, actually. Then they get to talking about serious things. Turns out Cindy isn’t a Christian at all. Like Stone, she was disillusioned by God’s inability to heal her eyesight.
Cindy, you are getting cooler by the minute! I’m going to be really sorry when you’re punished for ignoring
Jack Van Impe God.