God Bless America

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:MA
  • Director:Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Cast:Joel Murray , Mackenzie Brooke Smith , Tara Lynne Barr , Melinda Page Hamilton
  • Release Date:November 15, 2012
  • Distributor:Eagle/Potential
  • Running time:105 minutes
  • Film Worth:$16.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

There’s a rage and sadness bubbling under the wicked humour in this vicious but strangely empathetic cracker of a film.

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Frank (a wonderfully hangdog but punchy turn from Joel – brother of Bill – Murray) is the quintessential sad sack. He gets fired from his job of eleven years because of a simple miscommunication; his ex-wife is marrying a studly young cop; his daughter won’t talk to him; and he’s diagnosed with a brain tumour. About to blow his head off, Frank changes tack when he realises that he’d be better off taking out a few other, well-deserving people first. Angry at the meanness, cruelty and stupidity that have infected the modern world, Frank trains his gun on reality TV stars, right wing demagogues, and other bigots. Along for the ride is smart mouthed, murder-happy teen, Roxy (star-in-the-making, Tara Lynn Barr), who gets angry when Frank calls her “Juno”, and calls for the execution of everyone from Diablo Cody to people who give high-fives.

Though hilariously funny and luridly hypnotic, God Bless America is quite possibly the angriest and saddest film of the last ten years. Writer/director, Bobcat Goldthwait (a truly under celebrated auteur with three brilliantly provocative films – Shakes The Clown, Sleeping Dogs, World’s Greatest Dad – to his credit), literally rages at the world around him, obviously using Frank as a cinematic font for his own bilious disgust at today’s junk culture. This gives God Bless America an occasionally preachy, non-cinematic feel, but Goldthwait offsets this brilliantly by somehow making Frank and Roxy perversely empathetic. Though spree killers, they are ultimately sad and horribly lost, and it’s hard not to feel a rich sense of understanding for their anger at the world. Extraordinarily vicious (Woody Allen cops a particularly nasty spray), God Bless America is a wild, funny, almost criminally acerbic act of cinematic protest.

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