The Omega Code
Produced by the fundamentalist Christian network TBN, the one with the high-strung woman with the big white hair and the set left over from a high-school production of Dangerous Liaisons, The Omega C(omega)de is probably the only apocalyptic thriller aimed at people who actually expect to see the end of the world in their lifetime. Inspired by the best-selling book The Bible Code—which helpfully explains how applying a little bit of math, a little debased Cabalism, and a whole lot of mumbo jumbo to the Torah shows the ancient texts to predict such earth-shaking events as the death of Princess Diana—The Omega C(omega)de stars Casper Van Dien as an atheistic college professor, multiple doctorate, self-help guru, and popular talk-show guest. After traveling to Italy to attend the auction of some extremely expensive horses, Van Dien meets global politician and business tycoon Michael York, a charismatic genius with a secret: He's the Antichrist. Soon the wheels are set in motion for a low-budget depiction of Armageddon. In addition to the code portrayed within the movie, there's a good deal of coding performed by The Omega C(omega)de itself. The frequently incoherent script by first-timers Hollis Barton and Stephan Blinn includes many of the apocalypse-themed obsessions familiar to the loonier reaches of the Christian Right, especially the distrust of the U.N. and European Union (which York comes to head over the course of the film) and an attitude toward Israel and Judaism that mixes reverence with condescension. But mostly, The Omega C(omega)de is content to be an incompetent, run-of-the-mill thriller directed at the faithful, which spoils some of the fun for voyeurs. Sure, there are hilarious moments, such as when York proclaims himself God, provoking an Orthodox Jew to angrily rend his clothing before being assaulted by a U.N.-like soldier, but such moments are outnumbered by scenes of Van Dien dodging bullets and running from trucks. With cheap special effects, poor pacing, an illogical script, and cut-and-paste action sequences, The Omega C(omega)de could pass for any number of direct-to-video thrillers if you're not paying close attention. Of course, that may have been part of the point. When all is said and done, it might, unfortunately, announce the birth of a new genre: Christploitation.