Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001)
If at first you don’t succeed, try the exact same thing over again with more money. Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 is the follow up to the 1999 film The Omega Code. Technically, the film is a quasi-prequel (plot wise) which covers Politician, Industrialist and Antichrist Alexander Stone’s (Michael York) rise to power and his subsequent feud with his younger brother. It then deviates from the sequence of events in the first movie by ending in a large-scale battle at Megiddo between the forces or good and evil, both of whom favour the use of tanks and helicopter gunships. Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 benefits from a substantially larger budget and from superior direction by veteran film maker Brian Trenchard-Smith. It’s hardly a genre milestone but it’s a step in the right direction compared to its predecessor.
Sadly, the script is still weak and therefore the biggest flaw in the production and not even the tinkering of script doctor John Fasano cures it of its failings. Despite the overtly religious framing of the narrative there seems to be little insight into the forces of good. God and Jesus are seldom mentioned, and the plot still focuses on the rise of the beast. The production values are higher than its predecessor and some of the action scenes are okay. However, the use of CGI is variable ranging from adequate to poor. The destruction of the Coliseum in Rome is noticeably inept. In between the action we have a notable cast of international character actors such as Michael Biehn, David Hedison, Udo Kier and Franco Nero. In a fit of inspired casting, R Lee Ermey plays the president of the United States! They all spend their time looking earnest and moving the clumsy story line forward.
Considering the nature of the story, you would expect some flamboyant dialogue and clever theological cut and thrust. But such an approach is distinctly lacking. There are also several plot holes that must surely spring to mind to even the most casual viewer. For example, what is the Pope doing during these proceedings? Is he not Gods representative on earth? Surely the Catholic Church has a few thoughts on the rise of the Antichrist? Also, how does Islam react to these events? The screenplay chooses to omit these lines of enquiry. There is also no mention of the number of the beast, which tends to be a key point in the Book of Revelations. You do not have to be a major religious scholar to realise that Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 is simply cherry picking various religious texts to justify its own narrative. But then again this is a movie funded by evangelical Christians.
However, despite these shortcomings, this is by and large a more enjoyable film than the first instalment. The reliable cast do their best to tackle the screenplay and plot with stoic professionalism. Director Brian Trenchard-Smith stated that he treated the movie as a “a fun romp, not usually what happens with a religious film”. I still got the feeling that I was watching a sanitised version of a The Final Conflict but that is the price you have to pay to reach the widest audience with the ubiquitous PG-13 rating. Oh, and there's no reference to the code of the title in this particular movie. So, if you endured the first movie and feel the need for a second round, then Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 is a more rewarding experience. It still isn’t anywhere near as good as it could’ve been but it’s an improvement. Perhaps if there had been a third instalment, they may have got it right. However, poor box office returns brought this distinctly niche franchise to an end.