Dir: Craig R. Baxley (Action Jackson)
Finally, I get the cheese. This third installment had studio backing from Sony, and the differences are immediate. There is more than one camera, for example. The director has much more experience than the first two clowns (having been second unit director for both Predator and Reds) and is able to employ film conventions much more freely. The score makes sense and adds to dramatic effect. And this time, they could afford more than just Kirk Cameron.
To my viewing rescue comes Lou Gossett, Jr. As the President no less. Charles Martin Smith from American Graffitti and the brilliant Never Cry Wolf also has a cameo as the Veep. Gossett brings just enough acting chops to make this one funny. He is really trying, and that effort in the interests of the silly script was what I wanted. As the White House burns (an actual set this time!), Kirk Cameron converts the guy from Iron Eagle to Christianity. Just ponder that.
The production values of this one are much higher. We get a few gun battles and some sets where effort is evident. Still, things aren't perfect. Projectiles like missles and bazookas are animated onto the scene; the green screen is embarassingly evident. But this is cheesy as opposed in incompetent. Makes for much better viewing.
There is finally some action in the story too. A secular resistance movement has sprouted up to challenge the Anti-Christ's global government. The Christians have collapsed back to conversion only, reconciling my critique of the first two over the fact that the Christians are opposing God's will be attempting to thwart the Apocalypse. There was a very funny bio-terror reference, as our hero (remember, I am pro Anti-Christ here) infects Bibles with an Anthrax-like substance. In the end, communion wine turns out to be the antidote, allowing the Christians to soldier on.
This one was like watching a Rambo movie. Cheesy, silly, some things blow up real good. And it is interesting to watch the chracters approach the stock conflicts in what is now an action movie from a religious angle. "Sorry, my love, but I must fight for my country" becomes "I must fight for my God."
By far the best of the series. Almost a mediocre movie.