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Movie Review

What if the Torah actually contained strains of embedded code that could be deciphered by a sophisticated computer program, thereby revealing the whole of human history—including details of "the last days"? What if the Antichrist arose not as a self-aware agent of evil prewired with an apocalyptic plan, but as a prideful man with a lust for power (imagine a satanically funded James Bond villain) who, upon seizing the prophecies of the immediate future, positioned himself to fulfill them? Such are the wild theological presuppositions of The Omega Code, a slickly produced thriller with stylish special effects that invites audiences to consider events foretold in Revelation. The story focuses on the relationship between young motivational speaker Dr. Gillen Lane, an ambitious hunk fascinated with rumors of a Bible Code, and Chairman Stone Alexander, the wealthy and charismatic leader who sees the Code as his script for attaining god-like status. Alexander asks Lane to join his team. Lane, at first flattered to be part of Alexander's campaign for world peace, learns some things that take the bloom off the rose. Before he can act on them, a jealous henchman named Dominic frames Lane for murder, turning him into a fugitive. Lane leans on a reporter named Cassandra for help avoiding authorities. Prophesies (interpreted for the filmmakers by Late Great Planet Earth author Hal Lindsey) are fulfilled one after another and God has the final, explosive word.

Positive Elements: Omega Code raises awareness of biblical prophecy by giving it center stage. But unlike mainstream efforts such as The Omen, this film aspires to a higher purpose than mere entertainment: It calls viewers to account for a holy, omniscient, omnipotent God. The Lord's desire for spouses to work through difficulties and remain together for life is strongly promoted when a couple of 32 years counsels Lane to end a separation from his wife and daughter ("The worth of a real man will show in the countenance of his wife's face"). Lane takes their advice and decides to make his family top priority. Later, he is confronted with a golden opportunity "for the greater good" and returns to wrestling with those priorities as many of us do daily. Elsewhere, betrayals reinforce the value of true friendship and trust.

Spiritual Content: Beyond the overarching validation of holy texts and God's design for the universe, this movie features lines of dialogue from heroic characters that reinforce biblical truth, and statements from evil characters that reflect spiritual error. There's talk of "the faith of a child," Satan coming as an angel of light, and God's unique ability to fill a void in the human soul and raise people from the dead. Alexander spouts New Age self-actualization ("Not until we grasp that we are the higher power will we take the next step in our evolution and become whole!") and sets himself up as deity, a blaspheming false savior convinced that he is personally responsible for all of the positive changes in the world (global peace, the rebuilding of Solomon's temple, eliminating hunger, etc.). Spiritually, Lane is confused and disillusioned. He holds doctorates in world religion and mythology. Early on, he mocks the Bible's overt messages, despite a fascination with its mysterious subtext, concluding that "faith is myth and myth becomes truth" (he's unable to reconcile his mother's Christian faith with the fact that she died in a car wreck when he was 10 years old). Lane is tormented by creepy visions and flashbacks that could disturb some viewers. His visions are ultimately dispatched when Lane, kneeling in a prison cell, cries out in desperation, "God, Jesus, save me."

Sexual Content: A husband and wife talk about going upstairs and acting like newlyweds. That's it.

Violent Content: Dominic is an assassin, a former Catholic priest who has chosen to train his laser-guided sites on anyone interfering with Alexander's master plan. In the opening scene, he shoots a rabbi and steals the information he's translating. While not unduly graphic, the body count grows as the film progresses. Alexander is shot in the head and officially pronounced dead, but rises up more powerful than before. Dominic pummels Lane during an interrogation. Two prophets are shot upon declaring that they will rise after three days if the temple of their bodies is torn down (and rise they do!). A high-speed car chase leads to some bumper-crunching. On a broader scale, religious buildings including the Dome of the Rock are blown up by terrorists (a cameraman dies in the blast). We also see actual news footage of conflict in the Middle East. But perhaps the most disturbing expression of violence is spoken rather than performed as Dominic reassures a wavering Alexander, "Any man who can kill his own father has the strength to accomplish anything" (earlier we are told that his dad was a "drunken, wife-beating womanizer"). Let's just hope no viewers follow suit, feeling the need to confirm their own potential.

Crude or Profane Language: None.

Drug and Alcohol Content: Lane and Alexander share a bottle of wine. A long-time friend tries to help calm Lane's nerves with a shot of whiskey.

Summary: The Omega Code is without a doubt the most impressive apocalyptic thriller ever created by the Christian filmmaking community. Slick special effects. An interesting script. Globe-trotting location shots. In addition, a recognizable (if not A-list) cast gives the story a credibility boost sorely missed in films such as A Distant Thunder and Apocalypse. The chiseled Van Dien (Starship Troopers) is an adequate hero, but what holds the movie together is the charismatic presence of Michael York as Stone Alexander. York plays his Antichrist with a calculated malevolence aided by a British accent that reeks of untouchable monarchy. It has often been said that a story can survive with a two-dimensional hero, but can't overcome a weak villain. Omega Code is proof positive. In fact, Alexander's right-hand man (played by the instantly recognizable, but hard to place Michael Ironside) has carried the "heavy" load himself in other pictures. Here, he's the hit-man counterpart to Alexander's ivory-tower megalomaniac. A diabolical one-two punch. But what makes for a sometimes edgy actioner able to engage mainstream audiences may alienate some Christians. For one thing, Agatha Christie-style assassinations—regardless of their context—are unnerving. Seeing a man shot dead during a crowded street festival bore an uncomfortable similarity to the knife-in-the-back marketplace moment in Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. The violence isn't unduly graphic, but families should know it exists. Second, this film could lead some viewers to become as obsessed as the characters onscreen with the possibility of a hidden holy subtext. Audiences captivated by the idea of a secret Bible Code may see it as more than a piece of "what-if" fiction and overlook the many explicit instructions—spelled out from Genesis to Revelation—that God has given us. What information we need for daily living and eternal salvation is plainly revealed in black and white. God is not a tease. The Omega Code is intriguing entertainment that might give adults and older teens an excuse to start a family Bible study in the book of Revelation. The key is that families continue to hunger for what the Scriptures clearly say rather than what they may be hiding.


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