PLOT: The Rapture is rough on everybody, but it is especially trying for a young woman who is struggling to survive her nutty family during the apocalypse. Things get way worse when good old Mr. Anti-Christ starts lusting after her with plans on using her for his own personal pincushion. Will she and her loyal boyfriend outwit this devilishly soon-to-be Satan dude? Our entire fate may depend on it.
While watching the other end of the world comedy starring Craig Robinson (Check out our own Jason Adams review of THIS IS THE END here), it seems to be that the recent doomsday prophets have given Hollywood something to laugh about. Another thing that came from watching this goofy flick is that Anna Kendrick is simply incredible. The actress is utterly charismatic and talented and seems to make every movie she is a part of better. RAPTURE-PALOOZA is certainly no different. She is incredibly funny and just downright adorable as a young woman with a crazy family and a loyal boyfriend, all of whom happen to be dealing with the Rapture.
While on a bowling trip with her also very adorable boyfriend Ben (John Francis Daley of TV’s “Bones”), the sweet-natured Lindsey (Kendrick) soon finds that half the population is sent up to heaven. Those poor souls left behind deal with foul-mouthed birds, threatening locusts and demonic pot-smoking wraiths. Never mind that her complaining mother (Ana Gasteyer) was kicked out of heaven and all her family seems to do is fight. This end of the world stuff really is kind of f*cked up. All the while it rains blood and rocks come crashing down from the sky killing her neighbors. Things get even worse when the Anti-Christ (Craig Robinson) comes to town and decides that he wants Lindsey for his sex slave.
Directed by Paul Middleditch, RAPTURE-PALOOZA is a low-budget flick with a very talented group of actors involved. Rob Corddry is Ben’s father who works for the Anti-Christ. Thomas Lennon is a zombie neighbor that just wants to mow his lawn. And of course Gasteyer adds a level of manic energy that makes her character beyond irritating – yes, that is meant as a compliment. This comedic actress happens to be turning in some fantastic supporting performances as of late.
When it comes to good performances, it is really hard to resist both Kendrick and Daley. The two offer up such natural chemistry and they both handle the humor especially well. And when Robinson enters their perfect relationship – aside from the whole apocalypse thing - he also shines as a devilish dude that likes to be referred to as “The Beast.” The casting here is pretty much spot on, this includes the smaller roles that populate the rapturous comic fantasy.
Written by Chris Matheson (the guy who wrote BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE), it takes a little time for RAPTURE-PALOOZA to really create some comedy magic. While there are certainly laughs early on, the cheap effects and a slow beginning doesn’t really enrapture the viewer if you know what I mean. The jokes are there and they work, yet aside from the amazing chemistry between Kendrick and Daley, there are lulls in the proceedings. However, at the halfway mark, the story settles and it somehow comes together loaded with crude (and occasionally not so crude) humor that is sure to offend a few audience members.
RAPTURE-PALOOZA is an apocalyptic comedy that offers enough rough humor with a little heart to make it worth a look. Sure the special effects are weak and it starts off a bit slow, but thankfully there is enough funny to be found and did I happen to mention the terrific Ms. Kendrick? Hell, I’d recommend it just for her.