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The Rapture (1991)

Cast: Steve Hulin, Kane Hodder, Mimi Rogers, more...
Director: Michael Tolkin
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Studio: New Line Home Video
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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An audacious film about faith, The Rapture is a contemporary fantasy that keeps its feet unnervingly planted in reality even as reality starts to collapse. Mimi Rogers, in a strikingly accomplished performance, stars as Sharon, a telephone operator who spends her off-hours engaging in casual group sex to blot out her boredom. By chance, she becomes aware of a small Christian sect whose members believe that they have found a child with the gift of prophecy who has seen the upcoming end times. Slowly but steadily, Sharon finds herself drawn to this group, and one night she abruptly turns a corner, renounces her old life, and embraces fundamentalism with passion. She marries one of her former lovers, Randy (David Duchovny), who takes up Sharon's evangelical fervor to atone for his past as a hired killer, and they have a daughter. All seems peaceful until Randy is unexpectedly murdered, and Sharon takes her child to the desert to await the rapture that will bring the chosen to heaven. The film neither supports nor scoffs at Sharon's views, and the superb performances add immeasurably to a film that presents the unbelievable (and unthinkable) at face value, making it seem oddly plausible in the process. Michael Tolkin has also written and/or directed such films as The Player (1992), directed by Robert Altman, and The New Age (1994), both of which also skewer contemporary American society as shallow, materialistic, and desperate for something authentic to believe in. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Strange tone by Texan99 September 5, 2010 - 1:31 PM PDT
So much of this movie was unbearably annoying that I was surprised to find that I just loved it and continue to love it 17 years later. It doesn't permit our retreat into any of the usual comfortable Hollywood corners: nihilism, worldliness, cheap pop psychology treatments of religious fervor, or a heroine who relinquishes her bizarre fundamentalism in favor of some kind of safe, sophisticated universalism a la "What Dreams May Come." But it's equally unwilling to cater to a conventional fundamentalist mindset. It's as if the director were wondering what life would be like if it were literally true that the only important choice was for or against God -- commonplace for serious religious thinkers over the ages but virtually unheard of in our popular culture. This is one of the most engrossing but disturbing treatments of faith I've ever seen.

Much More Disturbing Than "The Passion of the Christ" by randomcha March 5, 2006 - 10:56 AM PST
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This is probably the most disturbing film I've ever seen. Of course I was raised Southern Baptist, so that may have something to do with it. But what makes this film truly uncanny is Tolkin's straight-faced treatment of the extremely out-there story; he treats everything as LITERALLY transpiring, and what's more he doesn't give you any clues as to how to deal with what you're seeing. For anyone who has ever had faith or been religious, watching this film is a very unsettling experience. As Leonard Maltin wrote in his review, this film "truly rushes in where no others have even dared to tread." Genious.

The passion of sharon by thingstodo February 17, 2006 - 11:09 AM PST
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Depending on where you stand on this Christianity thing, it won't take long to identify with Sharon. For non-believers or anyone BUT Christians, that starts early. For Christians, that'll happen soon enough. If you're willing to wait seemingly a life time for the rapture, you can wait about 30 minutes.

The sypnosis pretty much tells me most of the story. I wasn't convinced or even aware of how Sharon abruptly turned into a fundie. Was that the point, that these things just happen? There are several transitions of the characters in the movie regarding religion, none of them were explained well from my viewing (when and how exactly did that happened?), so I just had to take it as is.

Just what is salvation according to Christianity, a simple matter of declaring your love for Jesus despite all, even at the last possible moment? And for those that uses whatever idea of reasoning and logic that they are capable of, are they to be punished for employing the one faculty, however limited when compared to the great wisdom of a god, that they've come to depend on for their survival and existence?

These are some of the questions you may ponder while watching this movie if you're not already a believer. If you are, I'm sure you have your answers already and probably enjoy this as something akin to a cultural anthropological exercise to see how the non-believers deal with the religion.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.63)
49 Votes
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