Have you ever thought to yourself “boy, wouldn’t making a comedy about the rapture be a good flick?” Most likely not, but when hearing about the idea for Rapture-Palooza, the concept had my interest. The end of the world in general has become popular of recent, with this summer alone having two more comedies, This is the End and The World’s End, with comparable premises. While it seems odd that three comedies are all centered on the relatively similar subject matter, Rapture-Palooza focuses more on the end of the world in a far more biblical fashion.
Religious satire is perhaps the oldest form of satire around, most likely because how long religion has been around. While most of more famous religious satire is found in books, there has been some good uses of it in film, such as Monty Python’s Life of Brian. While it seems like this is what Rapture-Palooza would be, instead it is far much more like an average R-rated raunchy comedy, and as an R-rated comedy, the film doesn’t really work.
Rapture-Palooza follows the world after the rapture, where the few remaining humans are dealing with post-rapture life. One of these citizens, Lindsey, finds herself to be an object of the Antichrist’s affection, leading to her having to try and defeat the evil Antichrist.
Rapture-Palooza actually starts out really promising. The first twenty minutes or so were everything that the movie really should have been. After a clever monologue from the charming Anna Kendrick, the film really gets a couple of solid jokes in a row, mostly due to the talent of the great character actor John Michael Higgins. The whole end of the world aspect was being played out very well, with most of the jokes actually being pretty clever, and well pulled off. Too bad it derailed from there, but still, there were some fun moments.
The cast assembled here is excellent. From the charming Anna Kendrick, to some of my favorite underrated comedic actors like Rob Corddry, Paul Scheer, Tyler Labine, Rob Huebel, and Thomas Lennon. To get all of these very talented people together is a huge accomplishment, and they are able to get laughs just with their presence.
The film is also paced very well. At around 80 minutes long, the movie flies by quickly, so even when the film is falling flat, it still remains engaging.
Part of the reason this film goes wrong is how these actors are utilized. While Kendrick is one of the most charming actresses working today, she is severely wasted here. Basically her role just has her serving as the mistress to the devil, without really getting a chance to get across much personality or her well-known charm. For any film that gets such a great talent, its a shame that they basically just wasted her time.
Not only is she wasted, but also is all the great comedic talent assembled. All of those actors that were named in the film end up having about five minutes of screen time each, which basically consisted of one or two running jokes, and that was about it. To assemble such a talented cast and do nothing with them is just such a let down, as it seemed that some really underrated comedic talent was going to get a chance to shine, but instead they have nothing to do.
Craig Robinson is a good guy, a charming actor, who has been quite a few quality movies like Pineapple Express and Hot Tub Time Machine, but with this and Peeples, this must not be his summer. Here, Robinson is probably is the worst he has been in a movie in his career, and most of it is not his fault.
Robinson’s Anit-Christ is shown as a horny, impolite, and bawdy character, which would appear to make for some good comedic moments, but instead falls completely flat. The jokes he makes are the type of raunchy jokes that usually would work in an R-rated comedy, but instead are extremely childish and simplistic. It seems like the whole feature was written by a twelve year old, who just learned these curse words.
As I’ve been hinting at this whole time, this movie basically doesn’t work because of its screenplay, which in a comedy is really the element that matters the most. Scribe Chris Matheson’s efforts were extremely misguided, as the mixture of raunchy comedy with biological events just didn’t mesh, due to the jokes themselves not actually being funny. Adding in the fact that Matheson wasted a large cast and also failed to create anything new in the story department, this is one of the most disappointing writing efforts of the year.
It’s a competent flick, and even has a few laughs at its start, but Rapture-Palooza quickly delves into a laugh-free romp, which wastes its promising premise.
Take a Drink: any time you see a recognizable face.
Take a Drink: at any sex reference, or reference to a body part used in sex, mainly by Craig Robinson.
Do a 320z: for Ken Jeong as God, yeah, interesting casting to say the least.