God Bless America
- Emma Simmonds
- 2 July 2012
Dark satire from comedian Bobcat Goldthwait about an oddball duo who embark on a killing spree
Ironically titled but sincerely intended, God Bless America is a comedy drama about ‘going postal’. Boiling with rage at society’s ills are two avenging oddballs; they’re Bonnie and Clyde for anyone tired of being reduced to a mere consumer. From writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait (World’s Greatest Dad), God Bless America takes us on a colourful, violently righteous road trip.
Driven to distraction by discourteous neighbours and trash TV, American everyman Frank (Joel Murray) is a man millimetres from meltdown. When a misjudged gesture causes him to lose his job and he receives devastating news from a doctor, he becomes (to paraphrase Network) mad as hell and refuses to take it anymore. Frank makes-off in his neighbour’s beloved sports car with the aim of killing those who epitomise his frustrations. His first murder is witnessed by a schoolgirl, Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), a kindred spirit who becomes his partner in crime.
Though it’s a superhero free zone, we’ve seen vigilantes with young, peppy female sidekicks recently in Kick-Ass and Super. As that suggests, God Bless America suffers from a lack of original ideas. Still, its jubilant anarchism intermittently excites, there’s a smattering of well-executed gags and the cathartic violence set to euphoric tunes offers some (extremely) bad taste satisfaction. God Bless America screams in the face of a sick society, but its cries are drowned out by a sense that, unfortunately, we’ve seen this all before.
Selected release from Wed 4 July.