Megiddo

2001, Movie, PG-13, 106 mins

Review

MEGIDDO | MEGIDDO: THE OMEGA CODE 2 | THE OMEGA CODE 2
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Though the video title (MEGIDDO: THE OMEGA CODE 2) implies a sequel to surprise hit THE OMEGA CODE (1999), the Christian thriller MEGIDDO is actually a parallel telling of the same end-of-the-world events, again revolving around the sinister figure of Stone Alexander (Michael York). As a child, Stone (Gavin Fink) tries to murder his infant brother, David, whom he blames for his mother's death in childbirth. Stone's father, media mogul Daniel Alexander (David Hedison), sends the boy to General Francini's (Franco Nero) European military academy and raises David at home in the United States. The adult Stone becomes chancellor of the United World Union (a merger between the European Union and the United Nations), while David (Michael Biehn) pursues a career in American politics and winds up second-in-command to popular President Benson (R. Lee Ermey). Claiming it can bring peace to a weary, war-torn world, the UWU amalgamates Europe's nations into two "democratic zones," held together by a common language, currency and commitment to a new world order. Stone then attempts to draw the rest of the planet into the fold, but meets strong resistance from Latin America, China and the US. Apocalyptically inclined Christians recognize Stone as the Antichrist and his actions as the fulfillment of Biblical prophesies that portend the end of the world, but secular humanists and other unbelievers are seduced by his words. President Benson's sudden, fatal heart attack after a goodwill meeting with Stone makes David the new Chief Executive and sets the stage for a Cain-and-Abel conflict on a global scale. As floods, earthquakes, riots, fire and meteor showers ravage the world, Stone uses all his power to push it towards the final showdown on the plain of Megiddo, in Israel's Jezreel Valley, where good and evil will do battle for the souls of all mankind. Produced by the Trinity Broadcast Network, a pioneer in Christian broadcasting, this slick fire-and-brimstone sermon disguised as an OMEN-style thriller benefits from the expertise of b-movie veterans Brian Trenchard-Smith and John Fasano (respectively the film's director and co-writer), to cast members Udo Kier — as, of course, the Devil's disciple — Franco Nero, David Hedison (star of '50s sci-fi classic THE FLY), Ermey, Biehn and, of course, York, who emotes up a gleeful storm as the Devil himself. The film's message is delivered with no great subtlety but greater professionalism than the first generation of Christian thrillers. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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