SXSW Review: GOD BLESS AMERICA

By Mark Saldana

 Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Bobcat Goldthwait wrote and directed this incredible and hilarious satire about the good ole’ U.S. of A. and all of the things he finds wrong with our nation, especially within the news media, entertainment, and politics.  Depressed and unhappy with his life, Frank (Joel Murray) is due for a major change in his life.  He detests his job and his co-workers. Television serves up nothing, but banality and stupidity for entertainment.  News media, and politicians, prey upon people’s fears to obtain money and power.  When Frank loses his job, and finds out that he has a terminal illness, he completely loses it and decides to rid the world of the evil, wretched, and reprehensible.  A bright and similarly minded 16-year old named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) joins Frank in his mission to save the country. 

This movie really shocked me, but in a wonderful way.  Goldthwait’s script is amazing.  I could not agree more with his choice of targets; however, I am not of the opinion that these people should be murdered.  Clearly, this film serves as an outlet for Goldthwait’s frustrations with our country and its problems and allows him to fantasize about taking out these issues with loaded guns.  He definitely has a talent for taking an insane and deranged premise and making it work tremendously well as a comedy.  Obviously, this picture will not appeal to all tastes.  The content and scenarios will definitely put off the more reserved and conservative audiences.  However, if one finds off-centered and maniacal humor involving violence entertaining, this is a film not to miss.  Goldthwait’s material feels inspired by the socially critical comedy of Bill Hicks, but with some modern updates.  Fans of Hicks will, without a doubt, love this movie. 

 

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