Tripping the Rift: The Movie (2007) – Directed by Bernie Denk – Starring Stephen Root, Jenny McCarthy, Maurice LaMarche, Rick Jones, and John Melendez.
I never watched TRIPPING THE RIFT back when it was on SyFy (I think it was Sci-Fi back then), so I was happy to see the movie pop up on Netflix streaming. After watching Hercules and a couple episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, I was in a good mood and ready for the ridiculous, raunchy nature that I’d heard RIFT delivered.
I made it through maybe 20 minutes before I realized I wasn’t buying any of it, and maybe another twenty before I shut it off.
TRIPPING THE RIFT is mind-numbingly stupid. I get that the point of all this is that its derivative and referential to other properties, but RIFT is like the loud, obnoxious guy at a comic shop still blathering on about how Rob Liefeld doesn’t draw ankles on his characters or how Property A is infinitely better than Property B or making jokes that were old ten years ago. There’s just not nearly enough here that strikes me as inventive or fresh or funny.
And that’s really why RIFT doesn’t work for me – it’s not funny. It’s not inventive or clever, and while the animation delivers in terms of performance (characters move well enough), the overall look of the show doesn’t work.
Let’s start with the story. RIFT feels like a few separate episodes linked together – while that’s not the strongest narrative technique, there’s nothing wrong with it, either. That’s how Hitchcock made Psycho, after all, so if Hitch approves the technique, I’m not going to complain about it. The problem here is that RIFT opens with a blah story about the crew protecting a princess in a castle. For some reason the opening sequence is in black and white, which does nothing to add to the story and actually highlights the awkardness of the characters.
RIFT likes to do weird things to breasts, twisting them into weird shapes or making them huge and it just comes across as sophomoric.
But then, RIFT is designed to be sophomoric. Maybe high school kids like this?
What’s disappointing is that the characters aren’t horrible. Any character can be good and the mix here isn’t bad. There’s Chode (Stephen Root), the manipulative, sex-crazed boss; Six (Jenny McCarthy), the cyborg former sex slave with a conscience; Whip (Rick Jones), the eternally horny, reptilian nephew of Chode; Gus (Maurice LaMarche), the C-P30 derivative who everyone chides for being gay; and T’Nuk Layor, a triple-breasted, four legged whatever -
Look, spell T’Nuk Layor backwards. If you think that’s funny, you’ll probably get a kick out of TRIPPING THE RIFT; but for me, the level of humor here is severely lacking. I enjoy a good sophomoric, raunchy comedy, but I still want it to be funny and there’s just not much funny here.
I could go on, but I’d rather take my dog for a walk and get to my review of THE ARK IN SPACE and finish off my next GUNFIGHTER GOTHIC story. TRIPPING THE RIFT is not my cuppa tea.