God Bless America


God Bless America will appeal to anyone who has ever wished they had a loaded gun they could shoot at the contestants, judges and audiences of talent or reality shows. It is a sad indictment of our times that people are worshipped for seriously lacking in virtue and scruples in the clamour for fame at any cost. The central character Frank-Joel Murray- in Bobcat Goldthwait’s morbidly black comedy goes on such a spree to right the world of the evils of trashy American mass media but in the process somehow becomes a victim of the kind of celebrity culture he initially sets out to destroy.

What eventually causes him to crack and put the vengeful thoughts he has previously only harboured into action is losing his job, being rejected by his own daughter and being informed by his surgeon he has an inoperable malignant tumour. Feeling he has nothing to lose therefore sets him out on a rampage of murder and revenge on all the media types he abhors. Along the way he picks up a teenage girl Roxy –Tara Lynne Barr- who seems to share his views on the horrors of society- and most especially people who high-five- and is a more than willing accomplice in carrying out their own brand of executions.

The pace unfolds quickly and pretty soon Frank and Roxy are high profile media attractions famous for a trail of premeditated slaughter on what appears to be random victims. A gropu pf young kids who won’t stop talking and answering their phones during a movie are just one group who face the wrath of the gun wielding duo. The  climactic scene inevitably takes place in a TV Studio during a talent show –the American version of the X-Factor (now there’s an idea for the impending next series)- where a contestant who was previously mocked as a national joke has misguidedly achieved the fame he set out to attain.

God Bless America is a film with a message but it is often unclear what that message is. Frank’s disdain for mass media hype and the generation it is destroying is comprehensible but what isn’t his method of deali g with it. Dopeople really deserve to be shot simply for having bad taste? It is very droll and tongue in cheek however and it will enthral anyone who-like me- absolutely abhor the new form of celebrity of being famous for doing nothing or even simply for being stupid.

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