Sunday Short Reviews

Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…

God Bless America
This decidedly sick and twisted dark comedy from Bobcat Goldthwait shows a lot of promise, especially in its first act. I found myself with a lot of sympathy for the world-weary protagonist Frank, constantly disgusted by society and the other people living in it. He fantasizes about shooting up his annoying coworkers, shotgun-blasting the neighbour’s whiny baby, and other acts of depravity, before finally deciding to actually live out these fantasies, starting with the 16-year-old bitch queen on a reality TV show. After he commits the murder, he meets the equally insane but somehow more volatile teenager Roxy, and the two of them go on a Bonnie and Clyde-like killing spree. Unfortunately, after a great setup, the film begins to feel a bit like a series of rants written by writer/director Goldthwait, and in the end it struck me as being like a cross between the Big Daddy/Hit Girl relationship in Kick-Ass and The Boondock Saints. God Bless America is enjoyable and cathartic in many ways (though you might feel guilty for admitting to enjoying it), but overall it fails to be anything more than an angry rant against society, with no underlying message except that it’s futile to try and change anything.
3.5 out of 5

Law Abiding Citizen

Thrillers that centre around innocent people seeking justice in an unject world hold a lot of appeal for me, but Law Abiding Citizen fails to impress. The story of two characters played by Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler (whom you will only ever know as Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler) who become embroiled in a kind of cat-and-mouse game after Jamie Foxx failed to get both the men involved in killing Gerard Butler’s family sentenced to imprisonment. Butler gets pissed and decides to exact revenge himself, but manages to do it in ways that cast doubt as to whether or not he was involved, and the movie just goes on from there. This could have been an engaging movie, but frankly, I didn’t find either of the two protagonists compelling or interesting, I wasn’t able to really empathize with either of them (Gerard Butler commits crimes so heinous that didn’t make for satisfying scenes of revenge), and ultimately the film just failed to leave an impression. It was enjoyable enough while I was watching it, but you could skip Law Abiding Citizen and not miss anything worthwhile. This is a forgettable, airport-bookstore-novel-quality thriller.
2.5 out of 5

Hot Rod
I like Andy Samberg, Danny Mcbride, and Ian McShane, and if I’m being honest, those three actors are the only reason I watched Hot Rod. The movie follows Samberg’s character – the titular Rod – as he tries to raise money for Ian McShane’s character’s surgery by living out his dream of being a Super Dave Osborne-style stuntman. The bulk of the laughs in this film come from the Super Dave stunts, all of which inevitably end with Rod being smashed around like a ragdoll. It’s amusing, but I didn’t find myself laughing so much as occasionally snickering. I think that Jackass has ruined this kind of comedy for me, because while Super Dave-style stunts are pretty funny, it’s ultimately way funnier to watch people actually doing the stunts. I didn’t cringe when Rod fell on his face because it was obviously a dummy, and that kind of diffused any belly laughs that might have been had by Hot Rod. Not a bad flick, though.
3 out of 5

See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!

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