God Bless America
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait
Starring Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr, Mackenzie Brook Smith
Review by Jordan
Its very hard to say whether or not God Bless America is a good film. Directed by a comedian, Robert “Bobcat” Goldthwait, it wears the shell of a subversive comedy but with themes garnering such hatred at the lowering standards of American entertainment culture ultimately exists as a far-reaching and slightly disappointing drama. It commences with a sting, conjurers laughs as it progresses and ends with a climax intended to be the culmination of all that has gone before but unfortunately fizzles… though perhaps this is what Bobcat intended, and it served us right for anticipating an explicit bloodbath.
Personally, I don’t think this movie is that smart.
A lot of my favorite films are those that through a broken anti-hero aren’t afraid to shout their anger at the shameful happenings in a civilized world; Falling Down (1993), Super (2010) and Taxi Driver (1976) to name a few. God Bless America, for all its intentions, cannot be mentioned with these above gut-punches, and I believe is in danger of not having the notoriety it aspires to. I wanted very much to love it, and believe me when I say I absolutely did love a number of the cracking monologues (particularly one very early in the piece), but Frank is no D-Fens, and his sidekick Roxy quickly becomes quite grinding.
I realize that I am yet to explain the plot, this is because I do not feel the need to; as soon as one sees the title coupled with the image of a middle age man and teenage girl wielding handguns in front of the Stars and Stripes they should be able to join the dots… I will say that Frank has a particular disdain for American Idol type singing competitions though, and that he just wants everyone to be nice to each other; It’s OK to have political opinions and share them with millions, but just be nice. I feel God Bless America could have been a cracking, powerful short film, in fact a single 15 minute Frank tirade on the lowering standards of everyday conversation could of become a phenomenon, but as it stands the pacing issues over a 100 minute running time test the patience an unfortunate amount. 100 minutes isn’t exactly a long running time either.
I can see why a lot of people might love this film, as I can also see why some would find it a complete disappointment. Me? I’m sitting on the fence, with my legs perhaps dangling towards giving it another shot.
3 failed car explosions out of 5