I'm all for family-friendly entertainment with a minimum of sex,
violence, and foul language--that is, when done right. And while
_The_Omega_Code_, a squeaky clean thriller financed by Christian
programming network TBN, may be right from religious perspective, it's
wrong just about everywhere else. Stick a pro-faith overlay on poorly
made cheese, and it's still poorly made cheese, no matter how positive
its message is.
_The_Omega_Code_'s title refers to the secret code of the Bible, whose
hidden prophecies govern every move of Stone Alexander (Michael York), a
trusted politician bent on world domination. The fate of the world and
mankind rests on the shoulders of Dr. Gillen Lane (Casper Van Dien), a
motivational speaker who comes into the possession of a computer program
that unlocks the Bible code--and is the final missing piece in Stone's
But we mustn't forget that this is a TBN production after all, and thus
come in all the added religious trimmings. Gillen, while a proponent of
the Bible code, has lost faith in God after the years-ago death of his
mother, who was deeply religious. Needless to say, he will have to
accept Jesus Christ as his lord and savior in order to save the day.
Then again, saving the day is not so much up to Gillen, of course, as it
is to God, and _The_Omega_Code_ features what has to be the first literal
deus ex machina since the theatre of ancient Greek times. As
faith-affirming as it may be, the wrap-up is hokey and maddeningly
Connoisseurs of camp will be the only people who will find much
satisfaction from the acting. Van Dien is his usual unconvincing and
completely embarrassing self; did anyone believe this smug, stiff pretty
boy could convince as being a "Dr."? He is matched in the stiffness
department by Catherine Oxenberg as a talk show host and, as Gillen's
wife, an unknown actress whose name doesn't much matter because you're
certain not to hear it again in the future. As Stone, York oozes slime
and sleaze, which wouldn't be a problem for the villain role if he
weren't supposed to be a _trusted_ and _loved_ political leader. Only
Michael Ironside, in his typical shady element as Stone's main enforcer,
does any work that is the slightest bit dignified.
And when I say "only," I mean only--the direction (by Rob Marcarelli) is
flat; the special effects are laughably cheap; and the script is
amazingly lunkheaded (Gillen's wife lets him know that their house is
bugged by writing "BUG" on a paper, only to then discuss their "secret"
plans verbally). In the end, the only thing that can be considered the
slightest bit worthwhile is its spiritual message, but its something one
can get at a fraction of the time--and for free--by simply tuning to TBN.