The Rapture

"Excellent"

The Rapture Review


You should watch The Rapture with a group of friends, because the debates you'll have after the movie ends will be as entertaining as the movie itself. Here's a small film that dares to tackle the biggest of the big questions: What is the meaning of life? Does God exist? And if so, what is His master plan?

Pondering all these questions is Sharon (Mimi Rogers), a bored-out-of-her-mind information operator living in the southwest who spices up her dull routine by doing drugs and cruising for swinging couples with her boyfriend Vic (Patrick Bauchau). It's a crummy, dead-end existence that seems to offer no way out.

But things suddenly get strange. Sharon and some of her co-workers start having the same dreams, and she's led by her visions to see a child who has the power of prophecy. He has some interesting news: The world will soon end. Sharon is in a susceptible state, and she soon has a revelation and considers herself born again. She quickly marries a guy named Randy (David Duchovny, in one his first roles) and has a daughter she names Mary (Kimberly Cullum).

Some time passes, and Sharon only becomes more fervent in her beliefs, acting, in the eyes of some, crazier and crazier. She's a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and when she's certain that the apocalypse is imminent, she bundles Mary into her car and drives off into the desert leaving everything behind. The rapture, she believes, is at hand. Her eyes are eager to see the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Out in nature, though, things take a turn for the worse. Sharon is unprepared for desert life, and Mary suffers agonizingly as days pass. But amazingly enough, just when you think Sharon can't get any crazier, you find out she was right all along. Armageddon does in fact arrive, and the final act of the film takes you to places you never imagined you'd be going.

With little budget for special effects, writer/director Michael Tolkin creates an end of the world of the imagination. Armageddon is little more than very bright lights that approach like headlights, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. Sharon's bumpy trip to the other side includes some intense ranting and raving at God, opinions that just may land her in Purgatory if she's not careful.

The best way to describe The Rapture is as a movie that really goes for it. There's no boring copout here. Sharon isn't crazy, and it's not all a dream. It's a movie that follows the Bible to its final page and then punches through to the unwritten sequel, leaving some very heavy existential questions in its wake. Mimi Rogers is terrific, and it's a shame that her dazzling performance didn't earn her more recognition or better roles in the years that followed. Like Julianne Moore in 1995's Safe, another film about a lonely woman who goes more than a little nuts when her world collapses around her (they would make a helluva double feature), Rogers makes the journey from ordinary to outlandish seem absolutely plausible and utterly fascinating. (Interestingly, Tolkin later revisited the end-of-the-world plot as the writer of the crashing asteroid flick Deep Impact.)

The Rapture is one of the most egregiously overlooked movies of the 1990s, and its arrival on DVD is welcome, especially at a time when the Left Behind series of apocalypse-related books crowds the best seller lists. This is a totally different kind of end of the world and one well worth watching.

The rapture... of Lucky Strikes.



The Rapture

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th October 1991

Box Office Worldwide: $1.3M

Budget: $1.2M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Production compaines: New Line Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Sharon, as Vic, as Randy, Darwyn Carson as Maggie, as Deputy Foster, as Tommy, as Henry, Douglas Roberts as Louis, Stéphanie Menuez as Diana, as Wayne, as Mary

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