MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Do you hate American media and pop culture? I mean really hate it? Well so does comedian/director Bobcat Goldthwait.
In fact, he’s poured his heart and soul into 104 minutes of pundit bashing, reality show smashing, and oodles of ultra-violent fantasy fodder. And all with a huge, wicked grin on his face.
White, middle-aged liberal Frank (played perfectly by Joel Murray, younger brother of Bill) gets fired from his desk job, and is diagnosed with a brain tumor soon after.
As he sits alone, weeping in front of his TV with a six-pack of beer and a loaded gun, a reality show featuring a sniveling sixteen year old girl comes on.
As the brat loudly laments her unacceptable birthday present of a Lexus, Frank flips into homicidal maniac-mode. He enlists a like-minded teenage girl, and a bloody rampage ensues, with the mean and the rude as the targets.
Goldthwait’s gleeful bloodlust may turn as many stomachs as the non-stop preachy speeches written for Frank and his accomplice. But Bobcat truly shines in his spot-on lampoons of 24-hour cable news silliness and endless reality show garbage.
Yeah, the first couple murders are funny and cleverly executed, and it’s fun to see several cameos from Goldthwait’s comedian pals, like Larry Miller and Tom Kenny. But this roadtrip is not nearly as much fun as Goldthwait’s previous effort and magnum opus, the 2009 Robin Williams vehicle World’s Best Dad. God Bless America lacks World’s heart, and surprisingly, it’s realism.
Goldthwait is a true independent filmmaker. He lovingly embraces his low budgets, and revels in the zero compromise his freedom affords. God Bless America may not be the savior of the long-rotting American independent movement, but it’s fearlessness and ethos should be commended.
- Stephen Swanson