Moment After 2: The Awakening
Director: Wes Llewellyn
Written: Amanda Llewellyn
Starring: David A.R. White, Kevin Downes, Brad Heller, Monte Perlin
Christian fiction seems to only have two major categories: 1) end-time melodramas and 2) prairie melodramas. Consequently, Christian movies typically have two categories as well. The Moment After 2: The Awakening (MA2) is the latest installment in the post-rapture-end-times genre. This is a genre that seems to have the same basic plotline no matter the decade or filmmaker (remember the Thief in the Night and A Distant Thunder movies that scared us to death in the 70’s?).
Here’s the plot: Christ raptures the church; former atheists turn to Christ; these new believers must now face off with the oppressive government of the antichrist; near escapes and martyrdom ensue. Director Wes Llewellyn, working off of a script by his wife Amanda, repeats this formulaic plot as if painting by numbers.
David A.R. White, Christian cinema’s ubiquitous everyman (Six, Bells of Innocence, The Moment After), and Kevin Downes (Thr3e) reprise their roles as FBI agents who are “left behind” and continue to go through a series of trials and tribulations (pun intended). The acting is two-dimensional and emotionless, never rising above your typical church drama team.
One positive aspect is that the actual filmmaking – the cinematography, editing, etc. – has at least a level of quality that shows growth from most Christian movies of a decade ago. However, this should be a given, not a highlight.
You may be asking, “Why are you being so hard? Should you be so critical when the sincere folks who made this movie only want to reach the unsaved?” Let me answer the first question. I’m being so hard because the filmmakers are asking YOU to hand over your hard-earned money to buy or rent this movie. It is in my opinion (and I am only one voice) that you could spend that money on something better. Also, as movie fan AND as a Christian I long to see Christians have a credible impact in the movie world – a tough world to break into as Christian, no doubt. Movies are the only art form in the history of the world that Christians have not had a major influence. Let that statement sink in for a moment. I know we, as Christians, have to start somewhere – but surely we can do better than MA2?
As for the second question, let me approach it this way. If God uses MA2 to reach the unsaved it will only be because of His amazing sovereignty, not the excellence of the movie (of which there is little). I can’t judge the sincerity of the filmmakers – in fact, I applaud their tenacity and bravery. However, I just want to see better Christian movies rather than glad-handing something just because it is Christian. That does no one an ounce of good – not the paying audience, nor the time, talent and money of the filmmakers. Surely, as Christians, we can do better.
I realize the last two paragraphs have more to do with a commentary on Christian cinema than on this particular movie. Yet, MA2 is indicative of most of the Christian cinema that has been produced in the last 20 years with few exceptions. It’s sad to think that unbelieving Hollywood has been responsible for the best in Christian cinema (think Chronicles of Narnia and Amazing Grace) and that Christians themselves have been responsible for the worst in Christian cinema (I’m still wondering where the $30 million budget went on the Left Behind movie).
All this to say, please save your money and don’t spend it on The Moment After 2 because I really don’t want to review The Moment After 3. – Todd Burgett, Christian Book Previews.com
Watch the trailer for The Moment After 2