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Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Judgment day comedy is low on laughs, high on raunchy jokes.

Movie R 2013 85 minutes
Rapture-Palooza Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Moderately funny, absurdly sacrilegious, entertaining but lacking.

First off, this is a dark comedy and not meant for children or family viewing. There is no nudity, and the onscreen violence is relatively tame by modern standards. However, it's an extremely sexually explicit slapstick take on the rapture that is not coy in its lampooning of religion. If you're the type that's offended by that, you're probably better off not watching. Don't worry, you're not missing out on some sort of clever satire or subversive criticism. This is an over the top mockery of literalist interpretations of biblical stories and some fun ribbing of the more seemingly arbitrary aspects of those stories. It's not at all clever, but it is entertaining. All the jokes in the movie boil down to one of two running gags. The first is the awkward playing out of the grand cosmic events of the rapture within the mundane setting of day to day life in middle-class Seattle. Most of the laughs here come from the stark juxtaposition of the epic and the mundane. Jokes revolve around human characters having very familiarly human responses to ridiculously outlandish supernatural events. (eg: It rains blood, and a character's response is to turn on the windshield wipers and mention that this is pretty unhygienic). The second gag, is the shockingly inappropriate, infantile, and human-like behavior of the cosmic beings and supernatural characters. Craig Robinson's Satan is a dumb, petty, oversexed bully in the midst of a rough divorce. He's less a terrifying predator than a crass run of the mill bully. 'God' is a whiny narcisist with a petty vendetta. Demons are lazy unemployed potheads. And so on. The point is that when played a certain way, without the gravitas of a cosmic setting, these characters and their rivalries begin to seem very clownish. Overall the movie is moderately funny. Anna Kendrick & Craig Robinson work really well together. Kendrick's quiet disgust and sidelong insults are a great foil for Craig's loud outbursts & ridiculous vulgarity. The initial world-building is also fairly entertaining, as a comedic take on the events of the rapture feels fresh. However, the movie does fall short of its potential. It has a distinctly 'independent film' vibe, in that it feels like they needed more money to hire more talent to punch up the script. It's just not funny enough. Craig Robinson is a talented guy, but he can't carry the whole film on his own. Many times it felt like he was just improvising in the absence of a good script. Ken Jeong and Rob Cordry are also extremely underutilized. The story also feels as though it were cut short. Just as things really begin to really heat up, everything is cut short in a fairly anti-climactic way. It's not terrible, but there is a definite feeling that the viewer is shortchanged. The truth is that whether you are religious or not, the story of the Rapture is one of our culture's most epic and powerful works. Attempting a comedic take is remarkably ambitious, and will almost certainly fall short. I don't think this movie is bad. I just think it could have been better.
age 18+

Try this with muslims

This is vulgar (sexual references). It is disrespectful to Christians and the deity they hold to. If Hollywood made a spoof about the Muslim mahdi hiding out in a cave for thousands of years...NOBODY who was even a little seasoned in Hollywood would accept a role. There would be talks on the morning show and late night shows about victimization of Muslims, about what a beautiful religion it is, about tolerance and respect etc. Yet, they do stuff like this with Christianity at will.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Rapture-Palooza seems like an overlong improv routine by a bunch of comedian pals. Poking fun at religion isn't a novel idea (just watch any episode of South Park, which has ridiculed nearly every belief system from Christianity and Judaism to Scientology and militant atheism), and it takes a lot more than "isn't the rapture hilarious" to form the basis of a feature-length film. Admittedly, there is genuine talent in the cast (despite the nonstop vulgarities, Robinson is responsible for many of the movie's limited laughs).

The pothead wraiths also make it obvious that the movie's target audience is definitely young: teens and undergrads who'd rather laugh at a cheap marijuana joke and the sight gag of Ken Jeong as God than see a subtler comedy with less swearing and obvious punchlines. Yes, there are a few funnies in the plot, like when Lindsey explains that her raptured mother (Ana Gasteyer) was summarily sent back to Earth for basically being too much of a shrewish nag. Gasteyer's bitter back-and-forth with her unsurprised husband (John Michael Higgins) is undeniably amusing, as is the moment when it's revealed that a Book of Revelation-obsessed televangelist was not, in fact, raptured. Otherwise, if you want equal-opportunity religious comedy, stick with South Park.

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