Rapture-Palooza Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Reviewed by
Sean Warhurst
Rapture-Palooza†Blu-ray Review Rapture-Palooza will keep you entertained enough throughout but once the credits roll I doubt that itíll provoke a discussion around the water cooler the next morning. A missed opportunity, itís still worth a look, particularly if youíre a fan of the stellar cast; just donít set your expectations too high.

Feature 6.0
Video 9.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 6.0
Distributor: Roadshow
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Reviewer: Sean Warhurst
: MA15+



Rapture-Palooza, on the surface, appears to have a lot going for it: A unique concept ripe for satire, a script written by Chris Matheson, son of the legendary Richard Matheson and one of the minds that brought the brilliant Bill and Ted films to our screens, and boasting an ensemble cast featuring such comedic luminaries as Craig Robinson, Ken Jeong, Rob Corddry and Thomas Lennon amongst its cast, it would seem that all the dominoes are lined up for a rapturously (Sorry) funny jaunt into the end of days.

The question is, does the film have what it takes to stand out among the recent deluge of apocalyptic comedies like This is the End and The Worldís End?

Unfortunately, not quite. Despite a rather entertaining and amusing first act where the film deals with the rapture itself and its aftermath, the latter half of the film flounders amidst a barrage of sophomoric sexual innuendo and weed jokes. Director Paul Middleditch admirably handles the budgetary restraints and the cast performs as well as expected but one gets the sense that Matheson really didnít know where to go with the script after the rapture occurred, and the film quickly loses the momentum it so deftly builds during the first half hour as a result.

Rapture-Palooza follows young couple Lindsey (Anna Kendrick, Twilight) and Ben (John Francis Daley, Freaks and Geeks, Bones) as they try to run a sandwich business after all of the faithful are raptured to Heaven. Left behind on an earth where The Anti-Christ (Craig Robinson, The Office) reigns and survivors must contend with foul mouthed Crows, Locusts who constantly scream ďSuffer!Ē and wraiths from hell who delight in attacking survivors (Initially, at least; after awhile their main concern seems to be solely getting high), the pair soon find themselves having to assist Benís father (Rob Corddry, Hot Tub Time Machine) in his job as one of the Anti-Christís henchmen to raise some extra money so that they can get their own apartment. Yep, even during the end of days you still apparently have to work mind-numbing jobs just to get ahead. It kind of takes all of the fun out of the Apocalypse, doesnít it?

Catching the amorous eye of the living embodiment of evil (Not entirely surprisingly a former politician named Earl Grundy, although he prefers the nom de plume of The Beast) Lindsey is faced with a difficult choice Ė Give herself over to The Anti-Christ or lose everyone that she loves. Backed into a corner, Lindsey and Ben scramble to find a solution that doesnít involve killing The Anti-Christ, for that would only lead to his resurrection as Satan himself, or Lindsey giving up her booty to the dark overlord; armed only with an archaic biblical reference about The Beast being able to be imprisoned for 1000 years and their undead, lawn maintenance obsessed neighbour (Thomas Lennon, Reno 911), the desperate couple find themselves engaged in a battle that will dictate the outcome of not only their relationship but possibly the fate of the world itself.

As mentioned above, the cast all carry their roles with aplomb, with the highlights being the deadpan Kendrick playing off of the uncouth Robinson and the always dependable Cordrry and Rob Huebel (Human Giant) chewing the scenery every second theyíre on the screen. Brief appearances from Paul Scheer, Ken Jeong and Tyler Labine make for some decent laughs and Lennon is hilarious as the zombie neighbour but unfortunately the material just isnít befitting of the cast; thatís not to say that the film fails completely, as there are some pretty funny moments, itís just once the focus of the film shifts to The Anti-Christís pursuit of Lindsey the film quickly loses substance and becomes a series of tired dick jokes. Robinsonís schtick wears thin after awhile and, no matter how much charisma the big man possesses and his obvious commitment to the role, itís just not enough to carry the film through its weak final act.

Audio/ Visual

Rapture-Palooza has an immaculate 1080p transfer with no obvious signs of compression. The colours are realistic and fine detail is resplendent in high definition, with no concession made by the filmís slight budget; the audio comes in a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that performs admirably for the most part. Thereís clear channel delineation and no evidence of audible bleed through. The dynamic range and fidelity is of the quality expected from a Roadshow release.

Special Features

The special features on this release are, at times, funnier than the film itself, particularly the audio commentary track where Robinson, Corddry and Huebel sink margaritas at nine in the morning and basically poke fun throughout the filmís duration. Thereís also a selection of deleted scenes, a gag reel and two featurettes, one with Thomas Lennon providing a look behind the scenes and the other focusing on Robinson and the fun he had with the role of The Beast. Overall, the supplemental features are well worth a look.

List of Features:

-      Audio Commentary with Craig Robinson, Rob Huebel and Rob Corddry

-      Deleted Scenes (8:58)

-      Gag Reel (2:42)

-      Thomas Lennonís Movie Making Moments (5:39)

-      Itís Good To Be The Beast (8:05) 

Final Thought

Rapture-Palooza comes sprinting out of the gate but eventually limps over the finish line. The top notch cast canít quite lift the film out of the slump of the second act and the disappointing latter half feels like a one-note sketch stretched out beyond its capabilities. With that said, the first half of the film garnered many a guffaw (I particularly loved the ďSufferĒ locusts and Lindseyís fatherís brief appearance, as well as the fact that Lindseyís mother somehow managed to be sent back to Earth after the rapture due to an altercation about her place in Heavenís massage line), but given the calibre of talent associated with the film Rapture-Palooza just feels like it should have been more.

Rapture-Palooza will keep you entertained enough throughout but once the credits roll I doubt that itíll provoke a discussion around the water cooler the next morning. A missed opportunity, itís still worth a look, particularly if youíre a fan of the stellar cast; just donít set your expectations too high.


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