Carefully coded so as not to scare away secular audiences who just wanna see stuff blow up, this lugubrious thriller is still the closest Hollywood has come to addressing the question: What would a Christian apocalypse movie look like with a big budget, a talented director, and star power of higher wattage than a discount Baldwin brother? Here comes the answer: like a glum hybrid of the Final Destination movies, an Irwin Allen disaster bash, and the kitschiest parts of Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain. Nicolas Cage plays a widowed scientist who discovers that the time capsule his kid brought home from school is actually a numerically coded map to 50 years of calamities—essentially prophecy from the Book of the Number 23. The template has changed little since the Mark IV Rapture shockers and Ron Ormond Christploitation epics that traumatized church youth groups in the 1970s: Disbelievers will get face time with Revelation, undergo a foxhole conversion, realize their pastor father was right all along, etc.—but by then, it’ll be too late. What has changed significantly is the expense of the scare tactics. I, Robot director Alex Proyas, helming a project once meant for Donnie Darko’s Richard Kelly, withholds and deploys his show-stopping CG catastrophes with unseemly zeal: It’s hard to take the movie’s high-minded talk about determinism seriously with p.o.v. shots of human bugs splattering on a subway windshield. By the time winged messengers arrive from on high, one longs for the hard-headed heresy of Michael Tolkin’s The Rapture.