Movie Review

Apocalypse

Reviewed by: Ken James
STAFF WRITER

Excellent!
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Christian Drama
Length:
90 min.
Not rated

“Apocalypse: Caught in the Eye of the Storm” is, in many ways, a remarkable production. Already, hundreds (if not thousands) of souls have been won to Christ through the powerful message presented in this story. Not having the big budget of a Hollywood movie, some technical aspects fall short of what some had hoped for, but the truth of the Gospel comes through loud and clear.

Have you ever imagined what the world will be like at the moment of the rapture? Most Bible-believing Christians envision a world in absolute panic and havoc. Millions of people worldwide in every nation instantly vanish, leaving nearly everyone remaining on earth frightened beyond belief and in wonder of what truth is behind the disappearance.

Bronson Pearl and Helen Hannah are two such people who have been left behind. As internationally-known news anchors, they broadcast the incredible devastation seen in every part of the world. Helen is quick to realize those who disappeared were followers of Christ, called home to be with Jesus for all eternity. Her own grandmother was a believer, one who was keenly aware that Christ’s return was imminent. It does not take long for Helen to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus as well through reading the Bible and remembering what was taught by her Grandmother (as well as several conveniently discovered videos of Jack Van Impe’s pulling-no-punches-style teachings). Convincing her co-worker and romantic interest, Bronson Pearl, proves to be a much more difficult endeavor, however.

“Apocalypse” documents the rise of the great world leader prophesied in the Scriptures, the divine salvation of Israel against a military invasion by “the Great Bear” of the North (Russia), and various other “end times” situations. Any drama that ventures into prophetic times is going to have to make some guesses about what will things like? With the many possible interpretations of end times, however, many people will inevitably disagree with some details of what happens. Some viewers may also be surprised to see that as Christians are raptured, their clothes are left behind in a neatly-folded piles. We asked the producers about this. They referred us to the resurrection of Christ (John 20:6-7), where His head cloth was found folded in the grave.

The movie was shot on video, rather than film to save money, and perhaps for editorial reasons. It is almost impossible for any Christian film to stand up with the quality of Hollywood movies. However, as someone employed in the Christian film medium, I must say kudos to most Christian film producers. They do with a shoestring budget what many would consider impossible. “Apocalypse” has proven to be viewed and enjoyed by thousands already, with many spiritual decisions following. Certainly, this 1998 release is worth checking out.

You may also wish to see “Revelation,” “Tribulation,” and “Judgment,” the sequels to “Apocalypse”. For those disappointed with some of the technical aspects of “Apocalypse”, the sequels are of higher production quality. Another recent Christian film of similar nature not to be missed is “The Gathering.” Other recommendations include “The Moment After” and Left Behind—The Movie.

Year of Release—1998

Viewer Comments
Positive—I watched Apocalypse and had many questions to ask my parents after the movie. Their answers helped, but I still wasn’t fully satisfied. So I opened my Bible to Revelation and began reading. I decided to read a chapter a day. That didn’t work too well, so I changed it to 3 chapters per week. Apocalypse was a movie that makes you stop and think about the rapture and Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed it.
—Andrew Gibson, age 11
Negative—…Why put out a film that has everything wrong with it except the story? Why not put out a film with the same story, but that is directed properly and contains quality?… Film, music, art, are things to be gotten into with the greatest of care, and it sickens me to see how we as Christians can put out this junk and call it good just because it has a positive message.
—Todd Skinner, age 21
Negative—…The story was dripping with potential, but it was all lost when put on screen. The actors obviously were new to the screen, not unusual since I’m sure there wasn’t enough in the budget to cast Al Pacino, but at least give them some training. Very un-convincing. The actual film quality was sub-standard also, appearing to have used tape instead of film, possibly a cheap camera, it appeared soap-opera or sit-com in quality. Poorly directed also, with few interesting camera angles and it didn’t seem that the director was trying to say anything with his shots—he was simply filming what was going on in front of him. Sadly un-original. Even though I found it of terrible quality, its message is loud and clear. Excellent evangelistic message promoting the gospel truth. Being a student in film, and trained in the theatre, I fully understand that people are not willing to throw bags of money at a producer for a film of this nature and that automatically places them at a disadvantage. On the other side of the coin, this was a movie with incredible potential, and I was sorely disappointed in it.
—Chan Pedersen, age 24