Friday, 25 January 2013

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 text smartphonesnes 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 (to me) that really do shine. The plot is cute but totally unoriginal now I'm afraid, a depressed, ill, suicidal office worker gets fired and mentally snaps. He begins a killing spree with people that really annoy him or don't really deserve what they have, in short he's sick of modern day America. Along the way he picks up and befriends a young school girl who loves what he is doing so joins in and helps him.

So yeah...its basically an update of 'Natural Born Killers' with a hint of 'Bonnie and Clyde' perhaps, no bank robbing though. Its a dark comedy positively brewing over with sadism which is accompanied by a cheerful soundtrack as the happy couple go on the lam executing people they believe to be unworthy. If you think along the lines of 'Office Space' and that angle of comedy but much much darker.

What is truly excellent about this film is the pinpoint accuracy of the story and the way it shows us how utterly god awful modern day TV is. The immense popularity of reality shows like 'Pop Idol' and 'Big Brother' where morons are displayed for public humiliation or so called talent. This is the main focus of the plot, the spark that lights the main characters fuse for action. Other issues such as celebrity obsession, sport obsession, rudeness, lack of respect, general modern day pop culture and the whole self centered approach to today's society is targeted.

It really is a joy to watch as Frank and Roxy gun down a group of youths in the local cinema for talking on their mobile phones and not shutting up throughout the film (oh how many times have you thought about that...don't lie). Extremist religious protesters on a march, a bloke who takes up two car parking spaces, an abrasive politician off TV and of course a spoilt brat from one of those glorious reality TV shows.

The real mission for the pair is the judges on the popular reality show 'Superstarz' (a wonderful mockery of...well I'm sure you know). This is where they are headed, to end the lives of the pretentious, insensitive, rude, obnoxious panel of judges that make money from the 'know nothing, no talent' cultural obsession of our modern age.

Like I say I hadn't heard of either main stars for this film but boy was I impressed! Joel Murray as Frank is just your every man, a bog standard blue collar office boy, but you really find yourself wanting him to win, get his point across. This character is the champion for all the regular law abiding joe's out there in reality, people who don't try to play the system, people who pay their bills and keep to speed limits.

On the other hand the character of Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) I think is just there so boys can see a female teen kick ass. Yeah I could be wrong but seeing her gunning down perps (well kinda perps) as she leans out of their yellow Camaro with a grin on her face is...well its kinda hot. I actually think Barr slightly overacts to be honest, she's very good but a bit too over excited to be in the film methinks.

Cutting right down to the bone this film is an unapologetic, blistering, scathing backlash at our society today, or should that be American society today. Its dark as hell as Goldthwait doesn't hide from the brutal truth, statements that will slap you across the face and make you pay attention.

Its not perfect, not suppose to be a serious thriller or anything of course but I was thinking that surely by the midway point there would be masses of police after them. And surely the Camaro they stole would give them away somewhat, it is big, loud, fast and banana yellow. It does make the act of multiple murders look easy as they never seem to have any trouble from any law officials anywhere!.

A fantastic film which I hadn't even heard of until I stumbled across the poster online. The beginning is by far the best and most amusing, the plot gets a touch off base as the couple start knocking people off and the film becomes more routine. But the trigger happy violence against folk you love to hate turns this into some kind of feel good road movie...worryingly.

I mean seriously, you haven't ever thought about waking on stage and blowing away certain well known reality TV judges? Then perhaps turning to the camera and telling everybody at home what a mindless moron they are...yeah if you watch these reality shows you'd best not watch this film, it might sting.