March 17, 2002 -- "Megiddo: The Omega Code 2" is a big special effects-driven film based on the Biblical prophecy about Armageddon. It is about a final battle between good and evil which will mark the end of this epoch of history before the Day of Judgement (the word Armageddon is derived, in part, from the word megiddon, referring to the Plain of Megiddo in the Middle East, where decisive battles were fought). There have been many films about this prophecy, like "The Omen," "End of Days," "The Devil's Advocate," "Lost Souls," "The Rapture," and most of them suck. This film is not exception to the rule. One of the better films of this genre is Bless the Child. "Megiddo" does have some pretty good special effects, though, which helps.
As its name implies, it is a sequel to "The Omega Code," another poorly scripted and acted film having to do with the "last days." This film goes for the gusto, the big fight in the Middle East with lots of guns and rockets and tanks and large-scale war scenes. A lot of computer animation is used for the big action scenes. A total of 50 military vehicles, including 30 real tanks were used in the big battle scene. Most films of this ilk are done on the cheap, but this film looks expensive, except for the Whose Who of Hollywood has-beens which makes up most of the cast.
Some of those in the film are Michael York (reprising his character from the original "Omega Code" and York is also an associate producer on the film), Franco Nero ("Die Hard 2"), David Hedison ("License to Kill") and Kent McCord ("Predator 2"). York stars as Stone Alexander, world leader, media mogul and anti-Christ (just once I'd like to see the anti-Christ portrayed as a Hollywood producer). York is gleefully evil and over the top, even before he actually sprouts horns and wings. Stone is opposed by his brother, David, played by Michael Biehn of "The Rock." David is the president of the United States, one of the last holdouts, with Red China, from the amorphous, evil, one-world blob of the European Union (including Russia) headed by Stone. Stone's right hand demon, The Guardian, is played by Udo Kier (he of the strange eyes) of "Blade."
There is also a romantic triangle sub-plot involving David, Stone and Stone's wife, Gabriella Francini (played by Diane Venora). The romantic triangle doesn't really go anywhere. Gabriella's involvement with Stone is evidently supposed to be a morality tale about being seduced by power and the folly of trying to make good come out of money tainted by evil. Whatever, it doesn't work very well. The story is also hampered by too many flashbacks. Just when the story gets going, there is another flashback, or flash forward. After a bunch of those, I needed some dramamine. Not only that, but they used as many as three different actors to portray some roles, like those of Stone and David. That is because they were portrayed at different times of their lives from children or infants to mature adults. The trouble is, these different actors didn't really bear as much of a resemblance to each other as they should. It was disconcerting. The film is also lacking in any kind of subtlety. It just gets right in your face and yells its message.
The film starts out with some rambling commentary from some religious types about how this film is based on the Book of Revelations in the Bible, and about how all those prophecies are coming to pass and how this will all be happening soon. This seems pretty unnecessary. I don't know about you, but I've been hearing these same kinds of predictions ever since I was a kid. I used to hear this stuff on the radio and later on TV from televangelists like Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God (he died in 1986). I'm still hearing the same kinds of things on TV from televangelists like Jack Van Impe. There are plenty of people saying the end is near, and they've been saying that for the last 2,000 years or more. I believe the prophecy will come true as a matter of faith, but I don't think the makers of this film, or any mere mortal, has any idea when it will come to pass.
Another disconcerting thing from a Christian point of view is that the story isn't very religious. Sure, it is about Biblical prophecy, but where is Christ in all of this military conflict? The forces of good put their faith in guns, tanks, aircraft and strategy more than they do in the power of God. The forces of good in the movie behave just as the forces of evil do as far as the battle goes. A more instructive example of how Christianity really works is the battle waged against Christians by the Roman Empire. The empire slaughtered Christians by the thousands. The Christians won the war, not by force of arms, but by their faith.
The big star of the film is special effects. There are a lot of effects used in the final battle. There are over 300 effects shots in the whole film, including the destruction of Rome's Coliseum by a meteor. You can easily see where the money was spent in the making of this movie. The story may be weak and the acting is not first rate, but the eye candy is effective. This film rates a C.
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