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.
Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Friday 4th October 1991
Box Office Worldwide: $1.3M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 9
IMDB: 6.6 / 10
Director: Michael Tolkin
Screenwriter: Michael Tolkin
Starring: Mimi Rogers as Sharon, Patrick Bauchau as Vic, David Duchovny as Randy, Darwyn Carson as Maggie, Will Patton as Deputy Foster, James LeGros as Tommy, Dick Anthony Williams as Henry, Douglas Roberts as Louis, Stéphanie Menuez as Diana, Sam Vlahos as Wayne, Kimberly Cullum as Mary
As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...
This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...
Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...
Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...
A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...
First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...
Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...
Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...