Judge Paul Pritchard has never tripped on a rift himself, though he did once slip in a pile of horse manure.
Foul Language! Senseless Violence! Gratuitous Nudity! It's a Real #@!*&% Movie!
It's a real #@!*&% alright!
Facts of the Case
Beginning life as a late-night adult cartoon, Tripping the Rift has gained something of a cult status. Following the exploits of the crew of the spaceship Jupiter 42, captained by sleazeball Chode McBlob, a three-eyed purple alien who will always put himself first and spends most of his time thinking of sex. Six, a cyborg, is the ship's science officer, but her racy appearance alludes to her intended role, that of Chode's sex slave. T'nuk is an angry, foulmouthed cow-like creature, acting as both the ship's pilot and cook. Whip, Chode's nephew, is the youngster of the group, a teenager; he shares his uncle's preoccupation with sex. Finally there is Gus, the ship's homosexual robot.
Tripping the Rift: The Movie joins the characters as they take on a job to protect a princess from assassination. Before long the characters are whisked off on an adventure involving dismemberment, horny housewives and indestructible clown assassins.
A cursory browse on the Internet reveals CGI/adult comedy series, Tripping the Rift, has itself something of a fan base. Sorry to say, but I won't be adding myself to their numbers, for truly, and I'm aware this will likely enrage its admirers, I found Tripping the Rift: The Movie to be one of the most depressingly poor attempts at comedy I've ever been witness to.
Originating with a couple of short videos put out on the Internet, the idea behind Tripping the Rift was developed into a TV series that, so far, has spawned three seasons and has featured the vocal talents of Carmen Electra (Scary Movie 4) and Gina Gershon (Bound) as Six, the cyborg designed by Chode as a sex slave. Having not seen any of the episodes prior to watching the movie, I can't say whether in 20-minute bursts the comedy plays out better or not, and perhaps it does. But having watched the film, I've no desire at all to find out.
The problems with Tripping the Rift: The Movie are nothing to do with its gutter-level humor, personally as much as I enjoy a sophisticated joke, nothing quite raises a belly laugh like a good old dick or fart gag. So why did Tripping the Rift: The Movie cause such a negative reaction in me? Well, for one the film seemed to rely on a succession of f-bombs to be funny. Again, I've no problem with swearing; I myself have been known to liberally flesh out my comments with numerous vulgarities, sometimes several in the same sentence (to exert my manliness, obviously), but if that is all you have, if that is what the success of your humor is based on, well you've not got much have you? Similarly the stream of gay jokes soon becomes tiresome, not due to any offensiveness, just due to their banality. While having an indestructible clown assassin in ass-less leather chaps is funny at first, it can only raise a laugh so many times.
By taking a scattershot approach to comedy, Tripping the Rift: The Movie aims at so many targets that it ends up barely registering a single hit. The film is a combination of poorly judged parodies and references, from The Terminator to Desperate Housewives, that only remind you how good the shows and films being aped actually are.
The most damning comment I can make on Tripping the Rift: The Movie, is that somehow it managed to make its 75-minute running time feel far, far longer. A mundane plot that goes nowhere and does nothing, while lacking any real cohesion, is the primary problem. Apparently taking a number of episodes from the show's third season and inserting a Terminator-style subplot, the story just isn't interesting and the situations it puts the characters into are often completely uninspired. From a Frankenstein sequence involving the resurrection of a dismembered princess to a lame Raiders of the Lost Ark spoof, these are jokes that have been done before, often a great deal better.
Extras are limited to the short "Captain's Log: The Making Of Tripping The Rift: The Movie." Unfortunately this really doesn't offer much, except a chance for the voice actors to talk about the film and their love for the series.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation does its job and nothing more, maintaining a soft look throughout. The quality of the CGI is reminiscent of video game cut-scenes from a few years back. Still, this is clearly a budgetary issue and no reason to deduct points.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Due to the sheer amount of gags thrown at the wall, some are bound to stick, and sure enough, I had the occasional laugh. Perhaps nothing that would jeopardize the cleanliness of my underwear, but certainly enough to hint at some talent working behind the scenes.
I was really hopeful I would enjoy Tripping the Rift: The Movie, but within the first 10 minutes I began to get that sinking feeling that it just wasn't going to click with me. When a film can't sustain either the viewer's interest or laughs over a relatively short running time, there is something seriously wrong. Maybe this worked as a TV series, but as a film it fails miserably. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut this is not.
Guilty, though the judge is willing to be lenient on the killer clown if he's willing to lend him his ass-less leather chaps.
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