The Omega Code

For years now, Christian groups complained about the level of sex and violence in movies, but did little but protest. Finally, thanks to the Trinity Broadcast Network, a movie made by Christians is available for the general public. Based loosely on The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin, The Omega Code takes Christian themes, values, and wraps them all together in a very unsatisfying movie. Drosnin's book says that there are secret messages hidden in the Torah. By taking sequences of letters (every fifth letter, every twenty-fifth letter and so on), hidden messages appear, predicting such things as the deaths of Kennedy, Princess Diana, and Yitzak Rabin. The movie also throws in elements from the Book of Revelation.

At the beginning of the movie, a Jewish scholar is assassinated. He wrote a program that looks at the characters in the Torah three-dimensionally, bringing forth secret messages related to the end of the world. The assassin, Dominic (Michael Ironside, Starship Troopers, Major Payne) steals the program for his boss, multimillionaire Stone Alexander (Michael York, Wrongfully Accused, Austin Powers). What they do not realize is that they are missing the last line of code needed for the program. Dr. Gillen Lane (Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers, Sleepy Hollow) is a motivational speaker who specializes in things concerning myth, religion, and the Bible code, gets mixed up in all of this when he takes a job with Alexander. Because of actions in his past, he is no longer a Christian. After Lane begins to work with Alexander, things begin to spiral out of control. Alexander has much success in uniting the world, his actions mirroring those foretold in Revelation. Two people who claim to be prophets from God decry Alexander and his actions. Lane, along with Cassandra Barris (Catherine Oxenburg), must figure out what is going on before everything comes to a head.

I'm sure that the intentions of producer Matthew Crouch (yes, of those Crouch's) were good, the delivery was horrible. Hollis Barton and Stephan Blinn's script is the first problem. It is replete with gaping plot inconsistencies, and the story plods along at a boring rate, thoroughly uninteresting. Attempts at developing suspense fail, and just fill time. All of the characters are one dimensional, and never fully developed even within the limits of the film. All of the character's secrets are plainly clear to the viewer. The acting is the next bad thing about this movie. Especially Van Dien's job. He plays Lane not as a motivational speaker, but more as some sort of closet psychopath, constantly jumping around and delivering his lines with a crazy man's eyes. It does not help that the script constantly provides him with the some of the most atrocious lines heard all year. Ironside is usually a menacing presence in movies and television, but his Dominic is more confused than anything else. The production aspects of the film are actually pretty decent. The Omega Code has sections filmed on location in Italy and Israel. Director Robert Maracelli has a good eye for visuals, and next time should try some decent material. The special effects are sub par, but by no means horrible. One surprising element is the amount of violence. The Omega Code is not a violent film, but there are some pretty intense scenes that I am surprised were put in, in light of who made it.

This film has a lot in common with The Judas Project, another Christian themed movie released some years ago. Both had good intentions, but were very boring and hard to sit through. I applaud the makers of these movies for trying, but I really wish they would do a better job. If one of the purposes of The Omega Code is to get Christians to see the movie, it will probably succeed. It has a built in audience that probably does not usually attend movies. They will like it because of who made it, not because of how the film actually is. If one of the purposes is to get nonbelievers to think about what they see, The Omega Code will fail miserably. But it is by no means impossible to make a movie with Christian themes. Stigmata, Winona Ryder's upcoming Lost Souls and the upcoming End of Days all deal with the anti-Christ and Armageddon. And I'm sure those are all better movies. To make a good movie, you need more than good intentions (though many wonder about the intentions of TBN). If you want people to see your movie, make it good. And above all, it starts with a decently written script and actors who can act.

Haro Rates It: Really Bad
1 hour, 39 minutes, Rated PG-13 for some mild violence.

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