God Bless America

A bit Bonnie and Clyde, a bit Network, and a bit Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, maybe a hint of Falling Down. This is one of the darkest and funniest films I may have ever seen. Unafraid to say what many people are thinking, it actually manages to subvert the very things it rails against to provide its message. It is brutal and unapologetic, and it will make you laugh and cheer with it even as you wonder at the outcomes.

Murray plays his part deeply passionately, but with a quiet intensity of a man so beaten and accepting of the world around him he is practically dispassionate in his execution. As his partner, Barr manages to infuse life and energy back into the pair. And while she is clearly early in her craft, she brings a maturity and reality that is great fun to watch.

This isn’t a date movie or even one to enter into lightly, but it is really one worth seeing. It isn’t often you get humor, splatter, action, and meaningful social philosophy all in the same place. The Boondock Saints is probably the most recent to have pulled it off and, while it is part of the same pedigree, it is quite different in aim and feeling. This film is almost enough to forgive Goldthwait his earlier Police Academy movies and dozens of other servings of comic pablum (in front of and behind the scenes) if this is the movie it helped him write and direct. Almost.

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