JOY AND THE APOCALYPSE

2 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 79 minutes
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An asteroid is on a fatal collision course with the Earth, and the day of impact has finally arrived. A young and uptight Boston architect (Reza Blackstone) was commissioned by the super-rich father of his rather strident girlfriend (Katelin Dickson) to design a church that can be easily built by the survivors of the asteroid’s chaos. But on that fateful final day, the architect runs into a free-spirited ex-girlfriend (Vanessa Leigh) who is eight months pregnant. This encounter spins around the architect’s priorities and concerns – but, of course, he picked the worst possible day to reconsider the direction of his life.

Co-directors Daniel Black and Ryan Convery created a unique framework for their indie feature “Joy and the Apocalypse,” and it is hard not to get caught up in wondering how this micro-budget effort is going to handle the destruction of the planet. The film also takes full advantage of Boston’s most photogenic settings – indeed, while watching the film, I kept wondering why more films weren’t being made in that wonderful city.

Unfortunately, the screenplay is burdened with shrill dialogue and weak character development that makes a great deal of the film unpleasant. The central female roles are so obnoxious and overbearing that it brings to mind the old saying about being a bitch with a capital “C.” The architect is crafted as something of a dullard, and it is impossible to understand why so much female attention is poured on him.

The leading actors clearly try very hard to float their material – Leigh, in particular, could probably power the entire New England region with the surplus crazy energy she exudes. But the problematic script ultimately ruins the film. In the end, there is little joy in this off-kilter apocalypse.

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Posted on July 4, 2011 in Reviews by
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