Friday, August 23, 2013

Rapture-Palooza (2013)

**This review contains spoilers**

After The Rapture, Lindsey Lewis (Anna Kendrick), her family, her boyfriend, Ben House (John Francis Daley) and his father, Mr. House (Rob Corddry) are stuck on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Living in Seattle, Lindsey and Ben try to ignore the wraiths, falling asteroids, and blood rainstorms and make the best of the apocalypse by volunteering at the local community center and making a little extra cash on the side by working a sandwich cart, while Mr. House volunteers his services to The Anti-Christ and new ruler of the world.

After using the cover of a slimy politician to hide his true identity, The Anti-Christ uses “The Beast” (Craig Robinson) as a nickname, and as ruler of the world, The Beast is obsessed with power and domination, as he destroys entire cities. But The Beast sets his sights on a new mission, when he spots Lindsey during a visit to his mansion one day. The Beast will stop at nothing to take Lindsey’s virginity, so he gives Lindsey an ultimatum: after eight hours pass, Lindsey must have sex with The Beast, or The Beast will use his forces to kill off Lindsey’s mother, Mrs. Lewis ( Ana Gasteyer), her boyfriend, and Lindsey’s remaining family and friends on Earth.

Lindsey and Ben come up with a plan to stop The Beast once and for all, and save the world with the help of a wraith/next door neighbor named Mr. Murphy (Tom Lennon), who’s obsessed with cutting his lawn and lawnmowers. But Lindsey and Ben run into some trouble, when a loyal Mr. House tries to foil their plans, and Lindsey quickly runs out of options, while stalling for time with The Beast.

Anna Kendrick has found a nice niche for herself as an innocent, geeky, and somewhat na├»ve woman in most of her films. More often than not, Kendrick sticks to the same routine, but she’s likeable and funny, and nothing changes here. Daley is dead weight, because he’s carried by Kendrick, Robinson, Corddry, and Lennon throughout the film. And speaking of Corddry, he’s hilarious as the unapologetic traitor/kiss-ass, who will do anything to remain in The Beast’s good graces. When it comes to Ana Gasteyer, I don’t think you’ll have any middle ground. Gasteyer is a hyper nervous wreck, as the uptight housewife/widow, and she goes WAY over the top with her performance. Personally, I enjoyed Gasteyer, but I could see why others would be annoyed by her.

Craig Robinson is really hit and miss for me most of the time, but he’s able to provide a good amount of laughs, as this pompous and heartless jerk with a massive ego. Ken Jeong has a little cameo towards the very end as God. Usually, I can’t stand Jeong, but he’s tolerable enough, because of limited screen time. Too much of Jeong isn’t a good thing, because his act becomes tiresome quickly. It’s why I can’t stand his overexposure in The Hangover films. And well I hate to admit it, but Jeong actually put a smile on my face here. But a lot of that comes from the shocking irony of Jeong as God, because you would never picture someone like Jeong playing such a character.

Rapture-Palooza is a low budget film, and you can clearly see it. The CGI talking birds and crows, the talking grasshopper, the asteroids, the lighting, and Beast’s doomsday laser cannon. Rapture-Palooza looks cheap. There’s no denying that, but the set pieces and CGI don’t drag the quality of Rapture-Palooza down. I hate to take another shot the SyFy Channel, but they usually set the bar for low quality effects, and Rapture-Palooza’s special effects aren’t as cheap and tacky as a SyFy channel original.

Rapture-Palooza has a few overkill problems, with the crows and birds constantly shouting obscenities being the most obvious example, but I still enjoyed this film. Rapture-Palooza provides consistent laughs, and the rock solid cast (minus Daley) delivers a good set of entertaining comedic performances. Rapture-Palooza is mindless and silly fun, and they didn’t go overboard with the vulgar humor here. Most of the raunchy stuff comes from Robinson’s Beast, and when it comes to the humor and jokes, Rapture-Palooza did a nice job of mixing it up with a good amount of variety. And for my money, this is best post-apocalyptic comedy I’ve seen this year. Much better than that overrated piece of shit This Is The End.

Rating: 7/10

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