Wednesday, June 12, 2013

REVIEW: Rapture-Palooza


Craig Robinson, Anna Kendrick


June 7, 2013

Paul Middleditch


1 hour 24 minutes



There are movies that literally have no purpose or reason to be made, yet they're made anyway, and actually end up having pretty decent talent star in the project.  Does that make the overall movie good, though?  The answer to that question is no.  In the lines of last year's generic/pointless action thriller 'The Cold Light of Day,' the people of Hollywood have brought the people of America a film entitled 'Rapture-Palooza.'  This film features the likes of talented actors like Craig Robinson, Anna Kendrick, and Rob Corddry and is a rather dull and stupid interpretation of the apocalypse.  Why it was made might never be known, because I personally doubt that the actors involved with this actually believed that this was a good script.  'Rapture-Palooza' is a mess of a movie that will probably be forgotten by the time 2013 ends.

On a seemingly normal day in Seattle, the rapture occurs.  Over half of the city just vanishes into the heavens above, leaving people like Ben and his girlfriend Lindsay on Earth to suffer through the apocalypse.  Along with the biblically predicted blood rain and falling asteroids, the apocalypse also brings foul mouthed insects and birds, as well as flesh eating zombies to roam Earth, but most have since become huge potheads.  The leader of the mayhem on Earth is the Antichrist only known as "The Beast."  It'd be pretty easy to kill The Beast because he is a mortal possessed by the Devil; unfortunately if he is somehow killed in any way, he comes back as Satan.  So when The Beast suddenly gets the hots for Lindsay and threatens to bring harm to everyone she loves if she doesn't carry his demon child offspring, Ben and Lindsay come up with a plan not to kill The Beast, but to lock him up for 1000 years.

The sad thing about this film is that it features all of these talented comedians trying their best with the material they're given.  Craig Robinson is a funny man, showing his comedic chops in films like 'Hot Tub Time Machine' and the other apocalypse movie coming out this month, 'This is The End.'  In this film, Robinson plays this repugnant version of the Antichrist that is more annoying and irritating than funny and charismatic.  Anna Kendrick plays the female lead of the film, and frankly she doesn't do anything in this film other than read her lines.  Even comedians like Ken Jeong, Thomas Lennon, and Rob Corddry can't save the humor of this film, because their characters are written as pompous and annoying characters.  John Francis Daley from 'Freaks & Geeks' seemed to be the only one who was truly in to his character, but that isn't saying much as even he doesn't deliver a decent performance.  All of the actors in this film are talented in some way, but the direction, story, and script prevent them from doing what they do best in films.

First time director Paul Middleditch clearly doesn't have a grasp on what he wants his actors to do.  It seemed that all he wanted to do was have all of these big actors and just read off of the rejected Hollywood scripts of the 90s, and just film what they were doing for the hell of it.  Writer Chris Matheson is a very talented man, having written films like 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure,' 'A Goofy Movie,' and the underrated 'Imagine That.'  With this film, it seemed that he took a PG rated movie and added a bunch of tasteless profanity and sex humor to make it edgy and hip for the teen crowd.  Frankly, that didn't work, as none of the humor was funny at all.  Sure, the idea of zombies becoming potheads is somewhat amusing, but everything else is as bland as an 8 day old piece of bread.

If you want a real apocalypse comedy to go see, just see 'This is The End,' which coincidentally also stars Robinson.  You'll be more satisfied, plus there are a lot of unpredictable moments that are much funnier.  Even the R rated humor in 'End' is smarter and funnier than anything that was in this film.  None of the actors are able to get any laughs out of its audience, and that's mainly because of its poor direction and mediocre script. This is a movie that would be on Comedy Central late one night and only the really bored individuals still up would watch it.  The best comparison to this film would be last year's 'The Watch.'  None of the material in that film was laugh out loud funny, the R rating was forced into the script for no particular reason, and the actors had little impact on the film to make it even remotely funny.  'Rapture-Palooza' is in limited release and on VOD for a reason: it's sloppy, unfunny, stupid, and a waste of time and money for anyone who either rents it on iTunes or pays to see it in a theater, which frankly, I doubt many people did last weekend.

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