America is obsessed with dick. To wit: the climactic scene of This Is The End featured Satan’s penis being severed by holy light. Was that really necessary? Why does Satan even have a penis anyway? I didn’t see any 200 foot tall succubi strutting about. But yes, between This Is The End, Piranha 3DD, and 21 Jump Street, genital mutilation just keeps becoming more and more hilarious to the American populace. At the same time, Obama keeps talking about guns, and much as we are all God’s children, they are all America’s dicks. In other words, Obama is trying to castrate us, and Hollywood is laughing about it. The ringmaster of the circus is none other than Piers Morgan, a man with no penis. It’s a sad state of affairs. How could our lives possibly get any worse?
I have an answer, America: Rapture-Palooza. This is the worst movie I’ve watched so far this year. It has dethroned Gangster Squad, which I watched back in February. How is that even possible? How do you make something more embarrassing than Gangster Squad? I’m not sure that I want the answer. Now, we still have over three months left, so Hollywood may yet release something even more ridiculous than this. I doubt it, though.
So, let us venture into the depths of cinematic hell. Let us gaze upon the face of Rapture-Palooza.
“Based on a true story”, Rapture-Palooza is a lame comedy about The Rapture. Most of the humor derives from Satan talking about his dick, Satan talking about his pubic hair, Satan talking about his erections, references to Satan raping male henchmen, wraiths smoking weed, potheads acting stupid, a wraith mowing his lawn without a lawnmower, crows talking shit to people, locusts talking shit to people, and Ken Jeong being Asian American. There are around 200 uses of the word “dick” interlaced between all the other retardedness. It’s a dick-focused movie. It’s a movie about dick. In fact, this movie is dick.
Watching this movie is akin to watching a penis dangle about onscreen for 80 minutes. Not a nice, long, girthy member that makes you proud to be an American, but a shriveled, insecure penis, half absorbed into pelvic fat, cowering under a hairy beer belly, atrophied from involuntary celibacy, paralyzed with fear, and ashamed of its place in the world. Rapture-Palooza is not the penis America wants, but it is the penis that America has. This is our country. This is what we’ve become. Can Jesus just come back already and ejaculate on all of us so we can be cleansed?
On second thought, maybe I’m the one who is obsessed with dick. Whatever.
So, The Rapture happens and everyone left behind is somewhat irritated. A politician from Idaho reveals himself to be Satan, dubs himself “The Beast”, takes over Washington, and blows up Chicago, Tokyo, London, and Orlando. See, it’s funny because Orlando isn’t usually a major city that gets destroyed in movies. I get it, guys. Anyway, The Beast moves to Seattle, where Anna Kendrick’s character resides with her boyfriend. I’m already bored summarizing the plot, but there really isn’t much left to it than this. It’s all about The Beast trying to make Anna Kendrick’s character his bride. See, it’s funny because The Beast is portrayed as a buffoon who fires off constant references to his dick as a courtship ritual. I get it, guys.
I think I’m just too old for these kinds of movies. However, even if I was to warp back to the age of 14, or whenever I found Austin Powers hilarious, I think I still would have thought that this movie was terrible. It’s like a cinematic version of Reddit or something. Just one long string of lame jokes that you know must be funny to somebody, somewhere, but for all intents and purposes they may as well be living on Mars. In other words, it’s like one of my reviews. I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to analyzing a movie like this.
It may be instructive to compare this film to the other major apocalyptic comedy of this year, This Is The End. There’s a reason why This Is The End had a proper theatrical release while Rapture-Palooza went straight to video after a “limited theatrical engagement.” There was a certain artistry to This Is The End‘s crass comedy and navel gazing. The argument between James Franco and Danny McBride concerning proper masturbation etiquette reached operatic heights of absurdity while still saying something meaningful about the human condition in the 21st century. Above all, This Is The End at least felt like a creative take on the Apocalypse. Perhaps the most perfect aspect of it was that an axe-wielding Emma Watson was more fearsome than any of the demons, which is as it should be. The lone misstep in the film may be that we never see what happens to her out there in destroyed Los Angeles at the end.
Sure, This Is The End had more than its fair share of dick jokes, but they were set up and executed properly. The characters didn’t just randomly spout off the word “dick” as if the word itself was the joke. Craig Robinson appears in both films, and the differences are stark. While he cares enough about this film to personally compose Satan’s intentionally dumb theme songs, he is let down by a lame script and little support from the rest of the cast. By contrast, in This Is The End, he is able to elicit laughs because everyone involved actually seemed to know what they were doing. It’s really not that complicated. The word “dick” is not funny. Jonah Hill re-enacting the Rosemary’s Baby dream sequence while a erect demon climbs on top of him is funny. I’m not sure anybody involved in the writing or directing of Rapture-Palooza understands the difference.
Dick is important. Dick means something. When Emma Watson slices off the top of James Franco’s phallic artpiece, it is a “shit just got real” moment. She even exclaims, “I am not fucking around!” before she slices its head off. Rapture-Palooza just has Satan build a giant laser cannon, stand behind it while doing pelvic thrusts, and then moves on to the next scene. Wasn’t that zany? See, it’s funny because it looks like a giant dick. I get it, guys.
But Rapture-Palooza saves the worst for last, as Ken Jeong comes down in a crash of lightning and admonishes our main characters for accidentally killing Jesus. Yes, the return of Christ is stopped by a blast from Satan’s laser cannon of doom. Anyway, so Ken Jeong plays God. See, it’s funny because God is usually portrayed with either European or Semitic features. I get it, guys. Anyway, Satan arises, undeterred by repeated gunshot wounds, and engages God in a fistfight. It all ends when they fall into the jacuzzi and Satan electrocutes both of them with a nearby boombox. So both God and Satan die at the end of this movie. I have to say, God’s really been slumming it lately. He’s fallen a long way from his appearances in the old Shin Megami Tensei games. Here, he just says “fuck” repeatedly because it’s funny to hear God say “fuck”, I guess. He also says “dick”, but it is in response to Anna Kendrick calling him one. Yes, God calls Anna Kendrick a “dick”. See, it’s funny because… oh, I give up.
I wasn’t even sure about writing a review of this movie in the first place. Much like Gangster Squad, there isn’t a whole lot that can be said other than that it’s terrible. In typical fashion, I wrote one anyway, and now I realize reading it over that this review may, in fact, be worse than the film. Then again, if you laughed even once while reading this review, then you laughed more times than I did watching Rapture-Palooza. I’m not saying that every comedy needs to be Dr. Strangelove, but it would be nice if they could have put in a little more effort here. Like, why didn’t they just write and direct the entire film differently? Is that too much to ask?
Really, I just don’t understand why films like this are released. I get that they think that if they just put Anna Kendrick’s cleavage on the cover people will add it to their RedBox cart, but it’s such an embarrassment that it just makes everyone involved look bad. There needs to be a charity that buys up terrible movies and prevents them from being inflicted on the public. I can’t believe we spent $80 billion a month in Iraq for years while movies like Rapture-Palooza are released with impunity. Yes, it’s a free country, and making a shitty movie is perhaps the most American activity there is, but sometimes I just don’t know if I can deal with it anymore.
Wait, what am I saying? If they banned shitty movies, then half of Jason Statham’s oeuvre would be destroyed! Oh God, I take it all back. I’m sorry. We can’t inflict such a fate on our greatest living actor.
Well, carry on then, Hollywood. Whatever you’ve got lined up next: I’m ready.