Keven's Movie Review: GOD BLESS AMERICA
If the Boondock Saints are gun toting avenging angels of death out to seek vengeance on the criminal underworld, then God Bless America's Frank transcends that logic into something else even more terrifying. Bobcat Goldthwait's kill-spree black comedy is one of the best films of 2012 and a disturbingly convincing plea for society's jackasses to just...be...nice.
Starring the relatively unknown Joel Murray as Frank in a role that's like Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle on steroids, God Bless America takes the over exaggeration of simply murdering hateful annoying douchebags, to the extreme. After channel surfing nonstop through a reality TV purgatory loaded with hate and idiocy, Frank finds himself drifting through a life in which people constantly disrespect him. After some absolutely mind boggling events get Frank in trouble at work combined with his spoiled young daughter screaming for an iPhone, he finds himself at a breaking point after being told he has a fatal brain tumor.
Up until this point we're treated to a lot of painful scenes that although seem hyper stylized are all too factual in this world of reality TV domination. Music judges laugh at developmentally disabled contestants and some chick throws her tampon on what looks like something straight out of Flava Flav's dating show. Frank comes to the realization that he can kill himself, or kill everyone else. He chooses the latter and the audience is therefore taken on a ride of epic proportions.
God Bless America is equal parts Office Space and Natural Born Killers. I was worried about the movie coming off as slapstick but was pleasantly surprised to see Goldthwait had written a very clever film that didn't rely on the violence to advance the story. Murray and his co-star/accomplice Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) exhibit great on-screen albeit creepy chemistry. Everything feels real despite the chaotic nature of the plot moving from kill rampage to kill rampage. My one gripe is that this duo does feel eerily similar to the onscreen pair of Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page in Super.
Goldthwait has created his best film yet and it is one that I foresee becoming a cult classic for years to come. Underneath the bloodshed there is a lot of heart here. Not to sympathize with Frank's actions, because this is very much a psychotic break but he means well. He just means well, with a bullet to your face. It's funny, super violent, hysterical and just what the every-man needs in 2012 who is fed up with ignorant douchebags talking on their cell phones in the movie theater.
Frank (Joel Murray) has had enough of the downward spiral of American culture, which he sees as overrun with cruelty, stupidity and intolerance. Divorced, recently fired, and possibly terminally ill, Frank truly has nothing left to live for. But instead of taking his own life, he buys a gun and decides to take out his frustration on the cruelest, stupidest, most intolerant people he can imagine—starting with some particularly odious reality television stars. Frank finds an unusual accomplice in a high-school student named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement, and together they embark on a nation-wide assault on our country’s dumbest, most irritating celebrities.
Written and directed by taboo-busting filmmaker and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait (Shakes the Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie, World's Greatest Dad), GOD BLESS AMERICA a truly dark and very funny comedy for anyone who’s had enough of the dumbing down of our society. It is now playing on VOD and hits theaters May 11th.