The most recent generation of human beings, and more specifically American human beings, is known as the “generation of entitlement”. We’ve been given the most technology, the most variety, and most of all more career options than any generation before us. We can do, or not do, anything we want. Yet, as time goes on, it seems like all we want to do is nothing or everything. We’re either changing the world, or watching the world change right before our eyes.
Everyone over the age of 30, and a lot of people under, have had thoughts of killing the idiots who are supposedly educating the young minds of our great country. On the conservative side, it’s the Barack Obama’s and the Bill Maher’s and the Rachel Maddow’s of the world who are ruining the world. But on the liberal side it’s the Rush Limbaugh’s and the Bill O’Reilly’s and Michael Savage’s and Mitt Romney’s who are damning the United States to the deepest layer of Dante’s Inferno.
Meet Frank (Joel Murray), a middle aged, overworked, underpaid, and depressed man who decides to literally live the dream. After wrongly being fired for sexual harassment and being told that he has a brain tumor, Frank gives the ultimate middle finger to the world and starts killing our nation’s most repellent and atrocious citizens. He gets the idea after seeing a copy-cat “My Super Sweet 16” on TV. Completely disgusted by the state of our nation’s youth, he adopts the mentality of “If you can’t change ’em, kill ’em”. And that’s exactly what he does.
After his first, sloppy assassination, he picks up Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), a 16 year old sociopath ADD child who wants nothing more than to take the life of guilty filth. Reluctantly allowing her to come along, the two form a strong bond and become something of a “Mickey and Mallory” for the YouTube age. From state to state, target to target, Roxy and Frank witness firsthand the ins and outs of America’s worst personalities.
When I was going to rent God Bless America from iTunes, I saw a comment that said: “…my wife started playing ‘Words with Friends’ 5 minutes in.” That beautifully worded sentence is, in a nutshell, what God Bless America is essentially about. We’re a society that revolves around technology. We victimize the weak and exploit them for our own entertainment. We’re consumed by technology and all that is has to offer. In fact, if you’d like to hear me rant more about the product of a generation of inept children, read this right here.
At times heartwarming, at times extremely violent, and at times overly preachy, God Bless America is one hell of a film that doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Uneven as a see-saw, God Bless America is good, but not great. While I agree with almost everything the film had to say, its method of saying it was rather amateur, especially considering how gifted writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait is when it comes to screenplays.
The central performance by Joel Murray is one of the best I’ve seen all year, and he definitely elevates the sometimes unrealistically long winded monologues. Tara Lynne Barr is also excellent as a blood-thirsty high school student out for revenge against her generation.
Is God Bless America quality entertainment? Probably not, no. But is it entertaining as all hell with a good message to move it along? You bet your ass it is. If God Bless America isn’t great, it is one thing; original. And in a world of sequels and remakes, that in itself is something to be thankful for. And for that, I say not God bless America, but God bless Bobcat Goldthwait. For having a voice that isn’t conventional in the least.