Sunday, August 24, 2014


Directed by Paul Middleditch.
2013. Rated R, 85 minutes.
Craig Robinson
Anna Kendrick
John Francis Daley
Rob Corddry
Ana Gasteyer
Thomas Lennon
Ken Jeong
Tyler Labine
Paul Scheer
Adrianna Costa

If you're familiar with the Bible then you know that after the Rapture, things on Earth go haywire. Well, that's where we are. Much of the population has vanished from the planet and taken up residence in Heaven. Those left behind have to deal with locusts, blood rain, falling meteorites, wraiths, and yes, The Anti-Christ in the form of Earl Grundy (Robinson) who prefers to be called, what else, The Beast. He's taken over the U.S. government, dropped nukes on Chicago and Orlando among other places around the world. Now, he's living in Seattle and has taken a liking to local girl Lindsey (Kendrick). Not being the sort of girl that goes for bad boys, but one that does have a boyfriend, she turns him down flat. Unfortunately, you just can't tell the Anti-Christ no. He gives her an ultimatum. Either she marries him or he will kill everyone in her family. She has eight hours to decide. What's a girl to do?

Immediately, we start down the path of religous satire. It's meant to be a rather irreverent one, at that. No problem. A number of good movies have successfully taken on organized religion. Even if you're a devout follower of one or another, you have to admit it's a big target. From time to time, someone is going to take a shot at it. Sadly, even if you were nodding off reading up to this point, nothing as interesting as this review happens in Rapture-Palooza. I'm not just tooting my own horn, either. Travel around to as many different sites and read as many different reviews as you want. I promise every one of them will be far more intriguing than this movie.

Our heroes are just plain bland, and yes, I purposely put two synonyms next to each other for emphasis. Anna Kendrick sleepwalks through her role in the lead. John Francis Daley, who plays her boyfriend Ben, whines his way through his. I really wanted to slap him. Hard. Twice. At least. As our villain, Craig Robinson pretty much does what Craig Robinson does. He isn't necessarily bad, just failed by the writing of his character. In a movie meant to spoof Christianity, the character of the Anti-Christ is ripe with possibilities. There are so many depths to be mined. However, this movie is content to have him talk dirty, really dirty, to Anna Kendrick. Further robbing the character of any power, his behavior, and his race merely exploit stereotypes in hopes of getting cheap laughs. It doesn't. Instead, it just plays like white guy paranoia. Literally, it feels like it's a movie about a big evil black guy out to take an innocent white woman from her loving white boyfriend. That their grand solution is trying to lock him up doesn't help matters. Oops, spoiler alert...not really.

Believe it or not, there are actually three potentially interesting characters in the movie. The first is Lindsey's mom Lora (Gasteyer). She was taken during the rapture, but was sent back. All she gets to do is cry. A loud, fake "movie" cry. Let's move on. Next is Mr. Murphy (Lennon). He's become a zombie, but doesn't try to eat anyone. Neither do any of the other zombies, but that's beside the point. Mr. Murphy seems to have a story that's begging to be told. He just pushes an imaginary lawn mower until he gets a real one. Sigh. Finally, Ben's dad Walt (Corddry). He's one of the few who has managed to make a nice living and has done so by working for The Beast. Hmmm....could be a complex character that gives us some food for thought. Nope. His job is to repeatedly urge Lindsey to marry his boss. Ugh. At least we get an unfunny cameo from Ken Jeong. SMH.

Here is where I usually try to wrap up my review with a nice tidy conclusion summarizing all of my thoughts on the movie. On a good day, I'll end it with a clever sentence. This ain't a good day, boys and girls. Rapture-Palooza sucks and I've spent far too much time on it.

MY SCORE: 0/10


  1. My wife put this movie on for me a few weeks back and I didn't want to finish it. It just never made me laugh. With the swearing crows and the pothead wraiths it was all just so uninspired I didn't even really care whether or not they succeeded in caging the beast at the end.

    1. The whole thing is just a mess. Nothing funny happened, ever. You would be wise to never finish it.

  2. OMG I've never even heard this movie existed!! Rapture-Palooza, ahah well the title is somewhat clever, alas the movie was not. This might work maybe as an SNL skit but that's about it.

    1. From what I understand, Anna Kendrick didn't even bother promoting it. Sadly, the title is easily the most clever thing about it.

  3. Ouch! I saw this on Netflix and it gave me seriously bargain bin vibes. I'm glad I avoided it, even if I enjoy Kendrick and Robinson.

    1. Just in case you get tempted, it isn't just me. Take it from Nathan Rabin of The Dissolve: "The film overflows with inspired comic ideas that fizzle and die in execution like a marathon fireworks display of nothing but duds."

  4. I've seen this at Redbox a few times, and I always wondered why it had little to no publicity before. Now I get it. This sounds like a real mess.

  5. I love Craig Robinson and Anna Kendrick, but this looks awful! I can understand why it got awful reviews.

    1. It's awful to the point of being painful. Consider me watching it all the way through as taking one for the team. Thanks so much for reading.