Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America is a badass-satirical-call-to-action-wake-up-call to all of society. It screams for us, as a collective, to wake up and look at what we are doing with our lives and civilization. In a trailer for God Bless America, Goldthwait says that it isn’t an angry movie, but a movie designed to call attention to what we deem worthy of our attention. I can agree with him on that point, but the movie comes across as an ode to the cinematic days when characters took the initiative to take things into their own hands and weren’t afraid to get a little blood on their hands. Well, in this case, with God Bless America, a lot of blood.
Frank (Joel Murray) is a guy who is tired of everything. He is tired of the way American’s speak, gossip, discuss nothing substantial, and base everything they do on talk radio, gossip television, and wasteful entertainment. The first scene where Frank thinks to himself that he is not normal is the perfect opener for the explosiveness that the rest of the film delivers.
After being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, Frank decides to take out people that deserve to die, according to himself and his Bonnie ride along Roxy, portrayed by Tara Lynne Barr with just the right amount of teenage attractiveness. Together they make a great spree killer team and scour the nation, attempting to clean up the mess that America has left for them.
This is Goldthwait’s third official foray into directing movies for the “mainstream” and I am a fan every time I watch one of them. World’s Greatest Dad is a cult classic with Robin Williams and I haven’t gotten myself to watch Sleeping Dogs Lie yet, but I promise, I will. Goldthwait’s got a style that is his own, a style that is hard to describe, but is evident by his argumentative content and slightly unrealistic universes. His films take place in our society, if it was just a little different, a little “out-there” if you will.
God Bless America is a by product of films like Kick-Ass and Network but lacks the subtlety. The only issue that I have with America is that it proves to be a little more than repetitive in its supposed message. We instantly understand that this isn’t the best we can be doing with our society but Goldthwait makes sure Frank reminds us at every chance we get. Goldthwait penned the script and it is easily seen that his directing skills outshine his writing (sometimes, World’s Greatest Dad is brilliant).
Despite that one qualm with the feature, I was pleasantly surprised, entertained, and shocked over what was presented in God Bless America. I highly recommend watching this as loud as you can.