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June 30, 2012

Movie Review: God Bless America (2012)

Back in the '80s, I watched a ton of goofy comedies. Let's face it, we all did. That was about half of what was thrown at us. A major staple of the era was the Police Academy series. I would never have guessed at that time that one day that Zed guy would be my favorite filmmaker. I can't think of another writer/director right now who makes movies that are as thought provoking as Bobcat Goldthwait. Yeah, Bobcat. The guy who used to scream and mumble all at once in movies and on stage. He's extremely creative, and after watching God Bless America, I'm already excited to see what he does next.

Joel Murray takes the lead for the first time as Frank, a guy with a gloomy life and a bad disposition toward the state of today's society. His daughter is a brat, his ex-wife is marrying a young attractive guy, he just got fired, he hates his neighbors and on top of it all, he finds out that he has a brain tumor that's going to kill him fairly soon. He holds a gun in his mouth as a sweet sixteen reality show plays on his television screen. After realizing that his own daughter is turning into this televised spoiled bitch, he decides to put his bullets to better use.

After he kills the teenaged reality star, one of her classmates, Roxy, joins Frank and decides to point him in the direction of a few other people who deserve to die. The two go on an entertaining spree, taking out people we can all identify with in life. It's fun and funny, and it really does make you think about your own actions and how you effect others with your own inane nonsense.

The two main characters are great. Frank is oddly sensible for a guy who's out there blowing people away. Roxy is well written. She's the typical Anarchist teen whose words are as much propaganda as whatever she rallies against. She's pretentious and self-righteous, just like any sixteen-year-old would be. The two really mix well together. They seem to find joy in their actions for different reasons, but they're really more alike than even they believe.

This is the fourth movie written and directed by Bobcat, and it's definitely the most indulgent. I'm not sure if it's the best of the four movies, but it's a tight race between this and World's Greatest Dad, which I've seen three times. God Bless America will also be in a regular rotation here. Go see it. It's definitely my favorite movie of the year so far. Well, okay, next to The Avengers, but it's still damned good! And don't forget, don't be a jerk, or someone might just adjust your attitude.

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