I initially dismissed Rapture-Palooza as nothing more than a retread of material that I'd already enjoyed in This Is The End (a movie that has crept up and up in my estimation after each repeat viewing). Thankfully, I heard from others that it was worth my time so I gave it a watch. And, whaddya know, it was worth my time.
Anna Kendrick stars as Lindsey Lewis, a young woman who ends up living through the rapture. Yes, lots of people have been taken up to heaven, but Lindsey isn't one of them. She spends her days with her boyfriend, Ben (John Francis Daley), avoiding fiery rocks that fall from the sky, trying to ignore foul-mouthed crows, despairing of her parents (Ana Gasteyer and John Michael Higgins), and generally having a pretty bad time of it. Then things get worse when she catches the eye of the antichrist (Craig Robinson).
Thanks, mainly, to a great cast, Rapture-Palooza provides a decent number of chuckles for those who are willing to go along with the bonkers premise. Kendrick is always a likable presence, Robinson is often very funny (and gets to play the antichrist as an amusing asshole), Rob Corddry is a lot of fun as Ben's father, a man who wants to keep his loved ones safe by going along with whatever the antichrist wants, and Thomas Lennon is someone else I always like to see onscreen, so I thoroughly enjoyed his turn as a passive, sweet zombie. Daley may not be on a par with those mentioned, but he does a perfectly fine job with his role. As well as Gasteyer and Higgin, there are chuckles raised by the likes of Calum Worthy, Ken Jeong, Paul Scheer and Tyler Labine in small roles.
Writer Chris Matheson has a lot of fun interpreting the rapture in a way that mixes traditional aspects with twists that provide a lot of little laughs. The movie may never feel bleak, but it does enough to let you know that the characters left alive on Earth are having a pretty miserable time of things.
Paul Middleditch does well in the director's chair, setting up the lunacy without leaving any gaps for viewers to start thinking about the whole thing, and ridiculing it, before settling down to the main core of the plot - a woman with a loving boyfriend who finds herself receiving unwanted attention from an evil, powerful man. The pacing is perfect, the special effects are fun and good enough for the material, and the whole thing deserves to be viewed as more than just a trip back to the well used by This Is The End. So give it a go soon, especially if you've been (like me) avoiding it for that very reason.
It helps, of course, if you like everyone involved. If you do, I pretty much guarantee that this will entertain you for 90 minutes. If you don't, well, you may want to keep this as a very low priority.