Monday, April 8, 2013

God Bless America Review

God Bless America Review
Director:  Bobcat Goldthwait  

Cast Headliners: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr

Original Release Date: April 6, 2012

Seen: Uh December 2012?
            God Bless America is an ironic film. It is ironic in the fact that it is against violence, against hedonistic debauchery that pervades modern American media, against mindlessness. But, it is an incredibly violent film. God Bless America has much, as they say, kahunas. It is not afraid to take risks. It is fresh, it is wonderful, and it is dang smart.
            Frank Murdoch (played by Joel Murray) is an average middle aged salesman who works in a typical office in the stereotypical town that is Syracuse, New York. He has had it with life, he is fed up with the blaring annoyingness that someone who isn’t a member of mainstream culture has to deal with.  He is in the mainstream, but he decides to become some sort of Orwellian liberator to the lies and filth that modern culture promotes.  This is set off by learning he’s dying from a doctor distracted by his phone. He also is made at a certain reality show girl who complains about getting a car for her birthday. He decides to murder those who, perhaps truthfully, are the corrupt of society.
            On his way to kill the girl from the show (and yes he does shoot her this film is edgy and holds nothing back), he makes the acquaintance of the spunky young girl Roxy (played impressively by Tara Lynee Barr who was only 16 at the time of filming).  He begrudgingly takes he along, and the two journeys across America shooting the so-called wicked and joking and delivering intense rants.  The film can be quite funny at times, both in its sheer ridiculousness and also in the witty banter and relation between Frank and Roxy.  There is also a sweet side as the two get to know each other, and Frank becomes a father figure to her and even makes a true friend for the first time despite the gruesome circumstances.
            Yes, there is much bloody murder. The violence is perhaps a bit gratuitous, but God Bless America is a movie with a mission.  It is backed up by some very smart political and cultural lessons.  You’ll come wanting blood; you’ll leave remembering the cautionary lessons to be a better person (it’s there, even if hidden by the gunshots). Yes, the movie is shocking. But it is a decent and smart criticism of modern America. Actually, that’s the ironic thing. The smartest thing of this movie is that it’s supposed to appear overly violent. The audience is just buying into that system. Clever job God Bless America.  8.45 out of 10

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