It's been a while since seeing this the first time, so I watched it again with the second movie in the series. While I realize there is a 3rd movie out that I haven't seen yet, I'll review under the original title...
Just from the standpoint of production value, screen writing, and movie making, this movie fails on many levels, though it succeeds on a few as well. What can you expect from a low-budget, "B" movie? Not much, and it works from the standpoint of production. However, the writing is certainly disjointed, with little in the way of character development...exactly what I'd expect when there is an agenda to a film. I didn't have a problem with the acting...the cast is solid; however, the screenplay in both movies gives the actors little opportunity to really stretch themselves. Because the film is "Christian," this is predictable, as you can't very well portray violent chaos of the "end times" without also breaking some of the ethics which are normally associated with Christianity. In other words, the mistake comes in making this into a G-rated film when the content, even in the most conservative of Bible interpretations, would be R-rated by any measure. So, if the purpose of the movie is to scare people into Christian faith, then the movie should be somewhat scary, right? However, you can't comment on a film adaptation from a book without commenting on the book, or in this case, series of books. There are certainly plenty of Christian materials worthy enough to be made into movies...but not the "Left Behind" series...and these movies ultimately fail because, while being best-sellers, they are poorly written novels based on bad theology.
As a Southern Baptist minister, I confess that the books were a guilty pleasure for me, though I have yet to finish the last two books of the series. I have described them as decent fiction, and if the books would take the point of view that this is one "possibility" or interpretation of the subject of biblical eschatology (study of the "end times), then I could live with that. However, this series is divisive in Christian circles because it promotes the "literalist" interpretation of all Scripture above a more proper hermeneutic. Inevitably, this leads to the "pre-trib, pre-millenial" dispensation point of view, which confines an all-powerful God far too by humanity's world. In other words, as I've always said, God shouldn't need our helicopters and bombs to do his ultimate work. But because many people, particularly unstudied Christians, can't think beyond their own world-views, we are left with a pro-conservative, fundamentalist stance with regard to Bible interpretation, and attempts to push it through as the "only" interpretation.
Thus, the books carry with them an agenda, not so much to get the "lost" to understand their need for Christ, but to state that the fundamentalist point of view is the only valid way to understand the Bible. I recall very clearly reading (several years ago) in the second novel a scene where the characters reference a person who was "left behind" BECAUSE of his non-adherence to this point of view; as if "real" christians worthy to be "raptured" couldn't possibly hold to another eschatology. This is disturbing for several reasons, the least of which is because a "rapture" is only briefly mentioned in Scripture and it's connection to real, end-time prophecy is tenuous at best.
But the real issue with these books is comes in the way they divide the Christian community and how they portray "true" Christian behavior. Ultimately, I feel they harden more people to an otherwise legitimate faith/religion instead of win people towards it. It turns all Christians into caricatures, equally disdained and laughed at by the world despite the fact that there is theological room for a wide diversity of believes within Christian thought and practice. As a Christian body, on the whole, we've done enough of that kind of damage to society over 2000 years of history...and we certainly don't need to promote it by film to thousands, maybe millions of others.
Thus, the "Left Behind" movies fail because the "Left Behind" books aren't worthy to be interpreted into movies.