Early this morning, after waking up and walking into a wall, I watched The Omega Code, an evangelically-themed film from 1999.
Why Was I Watching It?
Earlier this year, my friend Evelyn and I watched a film called Megiddo: The Omega Code 2. We were both oddly amused by Megiddo so, when I saw that the first Omega Code film was going to be on one of the religious stations, I set the DVR to record it and made plans to watch it at some point in the future.
Last night, I happened to wake up around 3 in the morning. I got out of bed, I took a few steps forward, and I walked straight into a wall. After that, I turned on the lights and I was relieved to discover that my nose had protected the rest of my face from the wall.
So there I was at 3 in the morning with my red nose and my bruised pride and, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get back to sleep. What’s a girl to do, right? So, I decided that since I was awake anyway, I would go ahead and watch The Omega Code.
What Was It About?
The world is ending. People are starving. Nations are going to war. Fortunately, the President of the European Union, Stone Alexander (Michael York) has a plan to save us all. Unfortunately, Stone Alexander also happens to be the Antichrist.
In order to get all of humanity to accept his plan, Stone recruits the world’s most famous motivational speaker (Casper Van Dien). However, Van Dien find out about the Omega Code, a secret code that uses the bible to predict the future. And, as Van Dien discovers, the future looks positively apocalyptic….
When I reviewed Megiddo: Omega Code 2, I mentioned that if you’ve got a naturally villainous name like Stone Alexander, you might as well be evil. The same remains true of The Omega Code. Stone Alexander is so evil and Michael York is obviously having so much fun playing him that the fun is almost contagious.
Michael Ironside plays Dominic, Stone Alexander’s henchman. In a rather offensive moment, Alexander reveals that Dominic is both gay and a former priest and the implication (which was probably popular with the film’s target audience) is that Dominic’s villainy is the direct result of both his Catholicism and his sexuality. But, regardless, Ironside gives a memorably menacing performance.
It’s interesting how the villains in religious films are often more compelling than the heroes…
What Did Not Work?
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was spoiled by getting the chance to see the 2nd Omega Code before I saw the first one. Omega Code 2 was the epitome of a so-bad-that-it’s-good type of film but the first Omega Code was just bad. Not even the combined villainy of Michaels York and Ironside could make The Omega Code entertaining.
(Add to that, Megiddo: Omega Code 2 featured cameos from both Franco Nero and Udo Kier, while The Omega Code featured … well, no one.)
No review of The Omega Code would be complete without mentioning that, in the lead role, Casper Van Dien gives perhaps one of the worst performances ever captured on film. It’s oddly fascinating to watch and try to figure out how anybody could give such an incompetent performance.
As I watched the film, one question kept nagging at me. The Omega Code makes the argument that biblical prophecy should be taken literally. Therefore, if the bible is itself a literal document that tells you everything that you need to know than why hide a secret code between the lines? And, if you’re going to go through all the trouble to come up with a secret code, why use that code to then hide cryptic phrases that could literally be translated to mean anything? It just seems a bit overly complicated.
(That, incidentally, is the same reason why I don’t have much use for anything that Dan Brown has ever written.)
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
None. Seriously, there was not a single moment in this film to which I could relate. Some of that may be because this film was obviously made to appeal to an evangelical audience, as opposed to a free-thinking fallen Catholic like me.
Then again, it could also be that The Omega Code just wasn’t a very good movie.
I really didn’t learn anything. Sorry, not sorry.