The Pitch Perfect star and John Francis Daley (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) play cute couple Lindsey and Ben, whose sandwich-shop dreams are crushed, literally, by Armageddon-style rocks that fall from the sky, post-Rapture. The devil lives in the form of a former Boise, Idaho, mayoral candidate (Robinson) and has settled in the “not biblically referenced” city of Seattle, where he wipes out major metropolitan areas for the fun of it.
But, hey, on the plus side, he abolished the penny.
Upon meeting Lindsey through screenplay-stretched circumstances, the Beast (as he calls himself) immediately wants her to be his “evil queen.” Mostly he just wants to violate her virgin body repeatedly in the filthiest ways possible, all of which he has no problem expressing aloud. How is one able to say “no” to the lord of the underworld and still keep her family alive?
The question is worth asking, even if unproven director Paul Middleditch and screenwriter Chris Matheson (Imagine That) aren’t quite up to answering it. Wisely, they let the imperfections of the plot be smoothed over by the actors’ improv, including supporting bits from the likes of Paul Scheer (Piranha DD), Thomas Lennon (We’re the Millers), Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs Evil), Ken Jeong (The Hangover trilogy) and, from TV’s Childrens Hospital, Robs Huebel and Corddry.
The resulting humor is uneven; when in doubt, “cock” or “motherfucker” are go-tos. The one consistent element of comedy is Kendrick, a burgeoning master of the playing the straight man — er, woman. She proves to be the funniest among a top-notch cast simply by reacting.
Beware: The Lionsgate Blu-ray menu’s looping music will stick in your craw. In the bonus features, you’ll find that the deleted scenes and gag reel are nearly one and the same. —Rod Lott
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