I was also attracted to Rapture-Palooza because of the name of Chris Matheson on script. Chris Matheson made his screenwriting debut with the hit Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure (1989). He and frequent co-writing partner Ed Solomon went onto write Bill and Teds Bogus Journey (1991) and Mom and Dad Save the World (1992), films on the common theme of not terribly bright people in various science-fiction scenarios, as well as the Eddie Murphy vehicle Imagine That (2009). Without Solomon, Chris Matheson has also written A Goofy Movie (1995) and Stepsister from the Planet Weird (2000), as well as directed/written the little-seen likes of The Wise Ones (2001), Evil Alien Conquerors (2003) and Monkeys (2007). (Ed Solomon is also present here as a producer). The film is directed by New Zealander Paul Middleditch who had previously made a series of fairly obscure films Tin Box (1994), Terra Nova (1998), A Cold Summer (2003) and Separation City (2009). This was Middleditchs debut in the US mainstream.
Rapture-Palooza might have amounted to a highly amusing idea on paper; alas, little of it takes place on screen. Very similar things were conducted far better around the same time with the much more high-profile This is The End (2013). Both films play the idea of the Christian End Times and Rapture for comedy and are largely premised around giving well-known comedy actors their head in a series of improv scenes. You could even argue that Rapture-Palooza has done more to read up on what the Biblical Apocalypse entails than This is The End did; that unfortunately is about the only grounds on which this film is in any way superior. I have no familiarity with Paul Middleditchs other works but what you can say on the basis of Rapture-Palooza is that he seems to have a remarkable lack of aptitude for comedy.
The film starts okay, if uninspired. However, it takes a dive about half-an-hour in where the intended spoof of the Biblical Apocalypse seems to get forgotten and much of the show has been given over to Craig Robinson. Robinson seems to have been allowed his head to do what he wants whereupon he manages to turn every line into a sexual innuendo and crude come-on to Anna Kendrick. These extremely unfunny innuendos go on and on and on with no creativity to them other than Robinsons clear relish in delivering them, while the film around him collapses into tedium.
Anna Kendrick, whose name only has any prominence due to a minor part in the Twilight films, is one black mark against the film from the point it opens on her whiny voiceover. Demonstrating that a legion of teenage fans does not amount to a serious acting career in the outside world, she shows a lack of any real acting talent here. Rob Corddry has shown himself as a fine comic elsewhere see genre outings like Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), Warm Bodies (2013) and tries to do his best with a role that seems stuck in one-note caricature mode.