July 26, 2012
God Bless America
Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on July 2012
Okay, who hasn’t at one time or another pointed a finger gun at a TV screen and squeezed off a shot? Kapow! This darkly comedic rant from writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait centers on a divorced, freshly fired office schlub with an inoperable brain tumor (Joel Murray⎯Mad Men). Fed up with the rudeness, celebrity-worship and sheer vacuity of American pop culture, he decides one night that he’s mad as hell and not going to take it any more. He steals his self-centered neighbor’s Camaro and sets off to kill a particularly grating reality show star. Witnessing the murder is a like-minded 16-year-old girl (Tara Lynne Barr), who becomes his unlikely ally in a nationwide killing spree, targeting people who make phone calls in movies, moronic Tea Partiers, talk show gasbags, Kardashians, and anyone having to do with a “talent” show called American Superstarz. It’s not great; the two main characters remain only vaguely defined, and it fails to maintain its initial momentum. But it’s honest, and the wickedly hilarious social satire, unsubtle but hardly exaggerated, is nicely delivered in a few brilliantly written speeches and a slew of memorable one-liners.