EIFF 2012 Film Review: God Bless America

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Loaded Guns, Empty Culture

We’ve all been there. It’s late, your neighbour’s baby – screaming like some fat, pink banshee through the paper-thin walls – just won’t shut up, and the neon green lines next to you keep counting down to morning. So, you calmly walk next door, smile politely, and turn the offending child into pink mist and nappy debris with your trusty 12-gauge shotgun.

Well, maybe not. But, we’ve all fantasised about something, if not as extreme as clay baby shooting, at least somewhat similar. And, so opens Bobcat Goldthwait’s (Yes, of Police Academy ‘fame’) latest feature, God Bless America, with middle-aged office worker Frank (Joel Murray) slipping into the aforementioned, near-unmentionable, reverie.

Separated from his wife and alienated from his spoiled brat of a daughter, Frank’s already fragile world is shattered when he’s fired from his job for ‘harassment’ – sending a female colleague flowers – and diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.

Returning to his wafer-thin-walled condo and neighbours from hell, he toys with killing himself, but, after witnessing the televised personification of greed and narcissism in the form of Chloe (Maddie Hasson), the uber-brat star of ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’ who throws a tantrum when bought the wrong type of car, he has a change of heart. Society is broken, Frank decides, and the solution is not activism or affirmative action or even an Oprah special. The answer is an AK47 and a cultural cleansing.

Pages: 1 2

Directed by: Bobcat Goldthwait

Country: US

Year: 2011

Running Time: 105 mins

Certificate: 15


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