Tripping the Rift: The Movie (2008)
Tripping the Rift: The Movie (2008)

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 15 min.

Release Date: March 25th, 2008 MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Director: Bernie Denk Actors: Stephen Root, Maurice LeMarche, Jenny McCarthy, John Melendez, Gayle Garfinkle, Rick Jones

 


 

“T

ripping the Rift” gained a cult following for its creative parodies of sci-fi favorites coupled with brazen language and generous doses of sexual deviance. With three seasons under its belt, the show heads to DVD with this pseudo-movie, which is actually about four episodes strung together by a marginally connecting storyline (involving a princess, a Terminator-clown, and desperate housewives). The footage is, in fact, little more than unaired episodes from the last season, which will be new for American audiences (distributor Sci Fi Channel opted out of extending their contract) but disappointingly familiar for Canadian viewers, where the show was commissioned.

The original television series’ style lends itself to quick, half-hour plots, so it’s not surprising that this amalgamation would retain the feeling of just watching a few episodes in a row. Adding the phrase “The Movie” to the title means essentially nothing. Much like “Star Trek” set inside “South Park,” the outlandish antics and absurd predicaments encountered by the main crew of zany characters generates the majority of the entertainment. The more offensive the material and the subtler the movie references, the better the creators fare.

Chode (Stephen Root) is the three-eyed, blobby purple alien captain, whose insatiable sexual appetite and very un-sugarcoated scripting provides the lowest point of the show’s maturity – but also the funniest. Pleasure droid Six (Jenny McCarthy) offers the brains and the looks behind their operations, regularly becoming the target of gratuitous sexual references. The gay robot Gus (Maurice LeMarche) manages a few laughs here and there, while both the hideous bovine alien T’nuk (Gayle Garfinkle) and the wimpy lizard Whip (Rick Jones) just seem to get more and more annoying. And primary antagonist Darph Bobo (a clown-like Darth Vader knockoff) doesn’t always impress, but he’s definitely more appealing than the side villains introduced throughout the movie, which tend to exude the very essence of all that is dismal, revolting, and juvenile.

The major appeal of the TV show lies in the edgy quips and ludicrous parodies (along with frequent hints of nudity from the unnaturally jiggly female android Six, formerly voiced by Carmen Electra), but the writing here – perhaps especially with this style of frequent, interruptive interjecting – is very hit-or-miss. Chode’s offbeat rants are nevertheless the most amusing bits, even though everything from politically incorrect homosexual jokes to breaking out into song and dance find their way into this irreverent production. The references used in these particular chapters are a little too clichéd or well-known to spark much enthusiasm, but fans of the series (who are already familiar with the crude gags, the immature spoofing, and the foul language) will undoubtedly still enjoy seeing this bickering crew traverse any location or embark upon any quest the animators can muster.

– Joel Massie

  • 4/10

 

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