Loveless, jobless and both terminally disenfranchised and ill, Frank (Murray) has had enough of the dumbing down of American culture. He takes his gun and goes on a road trip with 16 year-old Roxy (Barr), offing society’s stupidest and cruellest members.
Who hasn't sat in front of Saturday-night TV and imagined blowing away the celeb-hungry members of the Big Brother house or the sneering panel on The X Factor, or felt unadulterated rage when the person next to you in the cinema pulls out their phone and starts texting? Presumably, director and writer Bobcat Goldthwait feels your pain. His satirical and violent tirade against the ills affecting American culture is an exercise in vigilantism and occasional intellectual elitism; it’s also, among the bloody corpses, bone fragments and discourse of a country going to hell, really very funny.
Much of the credit for ensuring the film’s centre holds comes down to the seemingly benign Frank (Joel Murray), estranged from his wife and a daughter who is slowly becoming a product of the cultural malaise that Frank so detests. Upon being told that he has an inoperable brain tumour, Frank decides to take action. Deciding to off Chloe (Maddie Hasson), a particularly appalling high-school princess with her own reality TV show, Frank sets the tone for the rest of the film. His brutal assassination of the girl is clumsy, bleakly funny and shockingly violent, but it’s enough to impress the teenage Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who teams up with the rudderless Frank and persuades him to parlay his act of retribution into a sustained campaign.
So begins a road trip that’s high on implausibility — it feels like the pair aren’t even destined to be pursued by the police — and riffs on US cultural malaise. Roxy’s endless lists of would-be victims are tempered by Frank’s yearning for common courtesy and a more caring world, albeit one where he gets to shoot people in the face. The sparkling dialogue — the bloody attack in the cinema is as cruel as it is clever — keeps the film afloat, with verbal barbs lacerating everything from inane celebrity culture to the cult of Diablo Cody. That and the growing bond between Frank and Roxy, plus the fact that the film takes a surprising U-turn, lifts it above the basic premise of a disgruntled man shooting down a world in which he no longer fits.
Part road trip, part revenge movie, this is a tentative tale of a man who’s not going to take it anymore, sharp on the fallibility of human foibles and sometimes stingingly funny, too.
Reviewed by Philip Wilding
| RE: God Bless America|
God Bless America (2011)
Are you fed up with life? fed up with the people around you? fed up with the constant mindless dribble that is shown on TV 24/7? the celebrity/sport addicted media or the use of brain sapping technology like 'Twitter' and txt on smart phones etc...?. Then why not break free and go on a killing rampage to release the world of these modern day problems.
Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait (yes that lunatic from a few 'Police Academy' movies) and with an unknown cast (... More
Posted by Phubbs at 09:22, 25 January 2013 | Report This Post
|God Bless America|
God Bless America works better as a political/cultural satire than as a cinematic story, where Murray's preaching may go to the point of not only annoyance, but where one might question the writer's views in the first place. But along with Barr, the duo are fun to watch in this violent, thoughtful, and delightfully funny indie. ... More
Posted by norgizfox at 20:50, 01 September 2012 | Report This Post
tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt1912398/]God Bless Americahe recently fired and terminally ill Frank is pissed off about almost everything in the current (American) society. When he gets the bad news that he is terminally ill and that is ex-wife (and mother of his insanely spoiled daughter) is getting re-married he completely had it with his life and wants to end it. But instead of doing so he decides to free society of everyone who is, according to him, responsible for letting society slip in a downw... More
Posted by TheGodfather at 22:02, 13 August 2012 | Report This Post
Thumbs up. Probably knocking on the door of my top ten for the year.
And how good is Tara Lynne Barr? Its the relationship between her and murray that really elevates the film.
Need to go back and check out Zed's...I mean Bobcats, other films. ... More
Posted by MartinBlank76 at 21:20, 03 August 2012 | Report This Post
Its well acted and directed and the story is interesting but it needs a better editor because the pacing is awful. Most of the scenes go on way longer than they need to ... More
Posted by Evil_Bob at 11:23, 08 July 2012 | Report This Post
This is unashamed misanthropy porn, a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the disillusioned, and I absolutely loved it. It has the guts to go the distance on it's dark promise, features so many sharp gags alongside the frequent monologues, and has found an absolute gem of a young star in Tara Lynne Barr, who steals the whole film from the excellent Murray. A brilliant, brilliant film. ... More
Posted by MB2 at 03:58, 02 July 2012 | Report This Post