"Down on Their Luck"
(BBB, CCC, H, D, V) Very strong Biblical and Christian worldview from a particular theological perspective which is prevalent in the evangelical church but reflects a reinterpretation of orthodox Christian theology with Humanist view expressed by non-believers who are ultimately shown to be the anti-Christ; brief portrayal of cigarette smoking; and, some violence used to portray the chaos at the approach of the end of the world.
In the movie GONE, filmmaker Tim Chey casts the winners from TV’s Survivor as two who are “left behind” after the Rapture. One becomes a believer, and one starts to question faith. Production values are at times weak, and the acting could use some polish in this morally redemptive tale.
A budding M. Night Shyamalan, Tim Chey, did a creditable job of portraying a dream sequence of the Rapture in his movie, GONE. His budget, clearly not yet in the big leagues, caused limitations in the production values that may be forgiven by Christian audiences, who may be pleased with this powerful parable.
With an obvious sense of irony, Chey (the screenwriter, director, co-producer, and actor) cast Dirk Been and Joel Klug, the two finalists of the hit television program Survivor, as two of the three men who are “left behind.” Chey himself plays the part of the third “survivor.” (All three are works-in-progress as actors.)
To portray the biblical prophesy of Christ’s rapture, Chey sets the story in contemporary Manila, where Been, Klug and Chey play American lawyers living in the Philippines while their firm fights to protect a multi-national industrialist whose company’s pollution has caused widespread illness and death. Of the three lawyers, Bill Houston (Been) and Jay Nelson (Chey) are cocky and seemingly unburdened by any sense of right and wrong. Dean Davies, (Klug) the third lawyer, goes through the motions, but shows clear signs of having a conscience, searching for faith throughout the film.
As the trio stroll the Manila waterfront, they encounter a blind old man who shouts that the end of the earth is near. As he hands out pamphlets predicting the Rapture, he predicts that water will turn to blood, hail the size of bowling balls will fall to the earth, and earthquakes and pestilence will occur throughout the world. Bill and Jay make fun of his predictions and treat other waterfront beggars like dogs—literally. In fact, Jay heartlessly tosses a coin and past one and tells him to “Go Fetch!”
The blind man’s predictions spur discussion among the three, where Bill and Jay’s disavowal of religious faith is demonstrated in their callous disregard for the victims of their client’s pollution. Dean, on the other hand, is the only one of the three who wants to meet with the opposing lawyer, Helen, (Lapus) to visit some of the dying victims. When one young girls dies in her father’s arms, Helen wonders where God is and admits she had lost her faith long ago. Dean reaffirms his search for faith, and Jay announces they’d better knock some sense into him. Dean contemplates going home, as he is in a legal battle that clearly challenges his sense of propriety, but he decides to stay.
From here, Chey sets in motion the story of the Rapture. As the three are on the waterfront, the blind man and others disappear. Special effects showing turbulent skies are interwoven with media announcements that chaos reigns and airports have been closed worldwide. As the men and Helen embark on a frantic search for water and for an escape route, various parts of the blind man’s prophecy come true: hail the size of bowling balls falls, people disappear, and blood replaces water in the faucets. During their search for physical salvation, even Bill seems to question whether God may exist, but in the end, Jay and Bill reveal tattoos that indicate they are anti-Christ.
Helen and Dean ascend a giant cross that earlier the lawyers had ridiculed. Helen has been wounded, and Dean is taking her to be closer to God. She announces her regained faith as she goes to be with God, and Dean does the same as he stands atop the cross and falls to his apparent death.
Then, the movie ends in a very surprising way.
Tim Chey is the writer, director, co-producer and co-star of GONE. Embodying biblical prophesy on film is no small task for anyone, and this one could have been helped by a larger budget. The low budget caused severe limitations in the production values, especially the special effects. Thus, production values and acting skills both could use some polish. Although the movie is not rated, it is not for children, as violence is needed to tell the story.
GONE is not a great movie, but it may help bring some people to Jesus Christ.
GONE is a Christian movie that enacts the story of the Rapture through the dream of a non-believer who ultimately questions his own arrogant non-belief. Set in the Philippines, it starts off as the story of three young American lawyers who are living in Manila while they defend in industrialist charged with life-altering pollution. When an old blind man shouts that the end of the earth is near, the movie becomes a biblical parable that attempts to breathe life into one particular eschatological theory. The movie ends in a surprising way.
Tim Chey is the writer, director, co-producer, and co-star of GONE. With delicious irony, Chey casts the two finalists from television’s Survivor as two of the unfortunate survivors who are “left behind.” Embodying biblical prophesy on film is no small task for anyone, and this one could have been helped by a larger budget. The low budget caused severe limitations in the production values, especially the special effects. Thus, production values and acting skills both could use some polish. Although the movie is not rated, it is not for children, since a modicum of violence is needed to tell the story