Revelation throws up all the themes of these End Times films The Rapture (where all good Christians are bodily taken up to heaven), the establishment of One World Government, the Anti-Christ who appears as a charismatic messiah bringing world peace and miracles. (It may say something about the paranoid worldview that these Christians live in that they keep making films warning people about the dangers of anyone who unites the world and brings peace in the Middle East). There is also something self-serving about the film in having all good Christians labelled Haters and persecuted for their beliefs. When you consider that televangelists like Jack Van Impe and John Hagee financed the film, you tend to think that the real reason the Christians are likely to be persecuted is not their beliefs but simply for being annoyingly bigoted and dogmatic thinkers John Hagee in particular has made vicious denunciations of Islam. (At one point in Revelation when the Christian rebels go to hack into Anti-Christs Virtual Reality centre, a list of O.N.E. operatives comes up and on freeze-frame is shown to contain the names of the production personnel one wonders if the filmmakers are not trying to signal a peculiar message to the audience).
Revelation interestingly ties the Biblical End Times themes in with Virtual Reality themes. This is a focus that pays more attention to current fads ie. the popularity of other Virtual Reality films that came out the same year such as The Matrix (1999), eXistenZ (1999) and The Thirteenth Floor (1999) than it comes from any precedent in The Bible. One defies the Lalondes to offer any Biblical evidence that suggests that the Anti-Christ will appear in Virtual Reality simulations. That said, the fictional scenario created is sometimes interesting.
Revelation is a much better budgeted film than Armageddon it has minor Hollywood names such as Jeff Fahey, Nick Mancuso and Carol Alt essaying roles that were played by different unknown actors the first time around. Nick Mancuso, through receiving second billing, is barely present in the film until a few scenes at the end. The characters in the film are dealt with in a fair way. Jeff Faheys hero has the interesting virtue for one of these films of remaining an atheist right up until nearly the end. The most interesting character is Tony Nappos horny, wheelchair-ridden computer geek who has been left with rough edges rather than having them bowdlerised. The cynical relationship between he and blind Carol Alt is the most authentic-seeming part of the film. Although, when the two of them are tempted, there is a nasty underlying implication that crippled and blind people are more likely to succumb to diabolical temptation than whole people because of their disabilities.
These End Times films are stuck with the difficult problem in that an accurate rendering of the Book of Revelations ends with the Anti-Christ reigning over the Earth for a thousand years and all true believers being persecuted for their beliefs. The Omega Code valiantly tried to rewrite Revelations for a happy ending. Revelation tries similar things, with The Day of Miracles being defeated and an unconvincing scene where the true believers are burnt in a furnace but remain unharmed Shadrach-like, only for the furnace to then explode killing the Anti-Christs evil lackey, but with the Anti-Christ left still in overall control. The end of the story is surprisingly downbeat.
Full film available online here:-