God Bless America
“Why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?” This is a question asked by the protagonist of Bobcat Goldthwait’s fantastic film God Bless America which looks at modern society as a disease due to reality television and political talk shows using mean spirited comments that viewers would regurgitate in their own lives. However, this film also brings back an old genre of crime road trips with a modern and unique twist.
The story is about middle aged man Frank Murdoch (Joel Murray) who is sick of America’s attitude in the present. After being diagnosed with a fatal tumour and feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better, he decides to do something about it…kill people he feels deserve to die. His first victim is spoilt brat Chloe (Maddie Hasson) who happens to be a classmate of Alice Cooper fan and eccentric teenager Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr). Excited about Chloe’s death, Roxy finds Frank and encourages him to across the nation and kill anyone who they feel is better off dead (and they have quite a list). From Westboro church goers to smug political talk show hosts, the two go across the country shooting them down and discovering more about each other.
This film is like a modern Bonnie and Clyde without the romantic elements. As the writer as well, Goldthwait has made something different which is always good in the film industry. Murray and Lynne Barr really brought these characters to life and made them a believable serial killing duo. While Frank is the calmer psychopath and Roxy is the ADHD sufferer that hates being called Juno, Frank does most of the killing which is good considering he is doing this to ease the pain rather than for the thrill. God Bless America would not be recommended for people who are sensitive about hearing that certain habits or attitudes are bad. However, if you are looking for Bonnie and Clyde with a modern twist then you might enjoy this film.
By Diarmuid Jude Crowley