Megiddo: The Omega Code 2
No matter what, a bad movie is a bad movie. Saying that Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 is much better than The Omega Code does not really mean much at all (kind of like saying it's better to be chased by 40 Africanized honeybees than 80 of them), yet it is true. The sequel is much better than the original, but still suffers from many problems. The original surprised everybody by making an appearing in the weekend box office totals, not because of its good quality but because of a savvy, church-based marketing campaign. Yes, for anybody still in the dark, Megiddo is the brainchild of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, a large Christian based organization that lately is in the habit of making bad movies (Carman: The Champion anybody?). And they are just as sly and manipulative in getting people into theaters as secular producers.
Picking up where the original left off, Megiddo finds Stone Alexander (Michael York, The Omega Code, Austin Powers 2) as leader of the world (and antichrist). The world is divided into ten regions, with only three of them, the United States, led by Stone's younger brother David (Michael Biehn, The Art of War, Cherry Falls), China, and the Latin region, opposing Stone. Much of the politics and imagery come from the Biblical book of Revelation, which describes how the world will end. The climactic battle will occur at Megiddo, a desert in the Middle East. However, in order to get there, one must sit through an excruciatingly boring first half, which details Stone's childhood and rise to power. There is a lot of unnecessary exposition, and the main point of interest is that director Brian Trenchard-Smith (Leprechaun 4) found Noah Huntley (Event Horizon, True Blue), an actor who looks amazingly like a young York to play a young Stone.
Then the movie kicks into high gear and transforms into a bad action movie with no sense of reason and a complete lack of political understanding. In shaping the political world to follow Revelation, Hollis Barton, Stephan Blinn (who both wrote The Omega Code), and John Fasano (The Visit, Universal Soldier: The Return), create a world that just looks ridiculous. Megiddo takes place sometime in the present or near future, and it is dumb to think that one person could come to so much power. Even dumber is their ignorance of American politics. Although the entire congress wants to join Stone's world order, David does not. Uh, anybody heard of overriding a veto? The American President here is akin to a dictator, and probably the most gung-ho battle ready president since Bill Pullman (or is that Bill Paxton?) in Independence Day. Plus, a shoot out between the Secret Service and FBI strains credulity even further. In action movies, it is the norm to stretch the truth for dramatic effect. It stretches so far here that any effect loses out to unintentional laughter. All of the action and special effects are on par with a made for television movie. In other words, they are not great, but they are not bad. There are a number of CGI effects, and the battles are decent but some of the monsters (one in particular) are not.
Laughter is also the result of York's performance. He is so over-the-top and hams it up so much that one cannot help but laugh. He is not the charismatic world leader the story envisions him to be, he is more a loony. Udo Kier (Dancer in the Dark, Shadow of the Vampire) fares even worse. He is a great actor, and merely lurks or walks slowly across the background, saying cryptic Satanic remarks. The brother against brother backdrop does not work well, especially against the religious themes. There is a minimal amount of preaching towards the audience, but in the one instance it happens it is very out of place and not in tone with the rest of the movie. There is nobody in the script with enough character to serve as a foil to Stone. After all, he is Satan. The fact that movies in the esteemed Leprechaun and Universal Soldier franchises appear on the resumes of the filmmakers here is a good sign of the overall quality level of Megiddo. If this is a movie used to evangelize, it fails utterly. Nowhere is there any coherent message of why one should be a Christian. If this a movie for Christians to enjoy as an alternative to mainstream movies, it still has the violence, bad acting, and moderate production value seemingly present in every Christian movie nowadays, so if they want to enjoy bad movies, more power to them. Oddly enough, compared with much of the junk Hollywood releases these days, Megiddo seems almost like a regular film.
|Mongoose Rates It: Pretty Bad.|
|1 hour, 51 minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, warfare, and some thematic elements.|
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