Director: Paul Middleditch
Writer: Chris Matheson
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Ken Jeong, John Francis Daley, Craig Robinson
There are currently two biblical apocalypse comedies out right now and Craig Robinson is in both of them. Why? Hell if I know, but you know what they say: Two biblical-apocalyse-comedies are worth one in the flaming bush! Hahahahaha….ugh…I’m sorry. I’ll stop wasting your time. Here’s the review.
“Rapture-palooza” is the story of a young couple living in a post-raptured earth. Everyone who went to church and believed in the Holy Ghost went to Heaven while most of earth’s comedians were left on earth. Post Armageddon life isn’t too dissimilar to current society, but it does rain blood, meteorites spontaneously crush loved ones, crows verbally assault you, and the anti-christ blew up a bunch of major cities. That anti-christ, calls himself Beast (Craig Robinson) and he’s looking for love. He’s tired of sluts and he’s set his sights on the young Lindsey (Anna Kendrick).
Lindsey and her boyfriend, Ben (John Francis Daley), are a generally well meaning couple and are just trying to make a living. They were originally trying to open up a sandwich cart, but a smoldering-comet-from-hell ended that pursuit. With very little options left they turn to Beast. As it turns out, the anti-christ is pure evil, but wants to make Lindsey his bride. Lindsey takes The Beasts’ advances as an opportunity to end the apocalypse. Their plan is to drug him and lock him in a kennel for 1,000 years. Not airtight, but it’s better than nothing.
Something’s odd about “Rapture-palooza” and I can’t put my finger on it. I can’t tell if it was the cheesy effects, the awkward collection of great comedians, or that there was a very similar movie released simultaneously. For some reason I can not fathom, the production comes off as if it were a TV movies. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t it all. The production was solid, the underplayed banter was fun, the concept was ripe for greatness, and the camera work was sleek. I can’t tell you what it was, but I wasn’t lost in the illusion of cinema. I started visualizing where the lights were and production assistants getting yelled out.
Anyway, other than some early pacing issues and a cheesy voiceover prelude, I really enjoyed “Rapture-palooza.” It’s a nice concoction of deadpan and absurd. Plus, I want more casts like this. The majority of the cast are talented character actors and not the stereotypical leading men or women. It brought a pleasant energy to the production I rarely see.
It felt so long since I’ve seen this kind of humor. Why is that? Who wrote this? Holy Hell, Chris Matheson! Where’ve you been? I’ve been waiting for another “Bill and Ted” movie for years and I dare anyone to not laugh at the flash grenade from “Mom and Dad Save The World.” Seriously, there’s a bit more humility in his writing than what’s currently trending. Over confidant pomposity is funny but once in a while I want to see characters have a sense of their limits. Attempting to be serious and failing will always be funnier than a dick joke.
Anyway, “Rapture-Palooza” may not be perfect and it may look like a cheap knock-off of “This Is The End,” but it’s not. It is it’s own animal with a unique comedic voice, performed exceedingly well. Plus, I like banter and there’s plenty of banter.