Sony // 2006 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 4th, 2010
In the last days, nothing is at it seems.
A low-budget thriller drenched in premillennialist eschatology where not much happens. Come on Christian filmmaking -- you can do better!
The Moment After 2 (which kind of doesn't make much sense as a title) takes place following the Rapture, when the Christian flock has been taken into the clouds, leaving the rest of the Earth's population hanging around and waiting for the Tribulation to hit. One of those left behind is former FBI Agent Adam Riley (David A.R. White, Mercy Streets), who's been framed for murder by the corrupt Global Alliance, a New World Order that is prepping for some serious End Times hijinks.
Riley gets away and shacks up with a community of new Christian believers, led by a sensitive guy named Jacob Krause. Meanwhile, the Global Alliance dispatches Riley's former cop buddy to track him down, setting up a face-off between the forces of good and an Alliance general who might be harboring some seriously malignant mojo.
These Left Behind-ish movies became all the rage about five years ago or so. And while it's not like Christian films are alone in their fascination with end times, apocalypse stuff, I have to admit that I rarely find these efforts interesting. This is coming from a Bible-thumper, by the way.
I don't want to get into my personal beliefs (they differ quite a bit from the scenarios espoused here), but Moment After 2 and like-minded end-of-the-world God-fearing sagas are crafted as Evangelical tools. The Christian messages of salvation and redemption and forgiveness and Christ's sacrifice tend to be explicitly stated; this film is no different, with multiple characters blasting out the theology at different points within the story. And that's perfectly fine. I just don't think framing it in eschatological moviemaking is the right way to go. Faith suddenly becomes a thing to be attained out of fear over being left on Earth and squaring off with the Antichrist, instead of a lifestyle and worldview of the here and now.
Okay, that was a pedantic enough paragraph. Setting aside my personal objections to the film's message delivery, Moment After 2 fails to deliver on standard-issue aspects required by all functional thrillers. The biggest transgression? It's just not that thrilling.
Most of the on-screen action is devoted to people hanging around a rustic campground being introspective and worried. Granted this is where much of the proselytization transpires and whatever evangelistic value there is to be siphoned from the experience is located here, however, it's slow-moving. Very slow-moving. The action doesn't pick up until the very end, when Riley faces down the Big Bad and the film's biggest twist shows up. It's a bit goofy, yet amusing enough and considering the action drought up to that point, deeply appreciated.
The DVD is a serviceable 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer; with a pair of 5.1 Dolby Digital mixes (English and Portuguese), filmmakers audio commentary, a longish making-of documentary and a music video.
What will you do the moment after watching The Moment After 2? Completely forget about it.
Guilty. No wonder you were left behind.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Music Video