The Rapture

A so-so student film (1991), tacky and pretentious if somewhat unpredictable, that catapulted into national prominence simply because it takes some of the tenets of fundamentalist Christianity seriously and seriously questions certain othersproving yet again that all it takes to get some critics worked up is novelty, not accomplishment: there are no insights here that you couldn’t find on most street corners. A telephone operator in Los Angeles (Mimi Rogers) who indulges in freewheeling mate swapping with her boyfriend (Patrick Bauchau) has a religious experience, transforms her life, and fervently awaits the apocalypse, which the movie delivers in solemn, drive-in exploitation style, complete with low-budget special effects and strained acting. Written and directed by former Village Voice writer Michael Tolkin, this clunky exercise goes the standard puritanical route of aiming to be as tawdry as possible before the heroine starts to see the light, then turning solemn and pristine in order to cash in on the conversion, which is questioned (and flaunted) as glumly as the carousing was. I was mildly interested and mildly bored, occasionally intrigued but never convinced. With David Duchovny, Kimberly Cullum, and Will Patton. (JR)

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