DVD Review - Red State

Michael Parks in "Red State"
This movie is a complete mess. It's all over the place. It's labeled as a horror film, but any and every thing about it is totally laughable, and absolutely nothing coherent can possibly be gleaned from it. I know that writer-director Kevin Smith gives John Goodman a speech at the end that's supposed to give us our takeaway, but it's difficult to tell what point Smith is trying to make.

He's condemning or lampooning cults or extreme religious fanatics, particularly this one named Abin Cooper, played by Michael Parks. Cooper is a crazed homophobe who is introduced when he gives a sermon that leads to the actual killing of a kidnapped gay man. I guess Smith is trying to rail against all the anti-gay religious groups, or at least the one that's the most famous. Except, this movie really couldn't care less about homophobia or gay people.

It couldn't care less about anything, which is certainly true of its characters. Each and every one of the persons here are disposable. They're like checker pieces, each waiting for the moment to be jumped and then quickly removed from the board. Logically, you could make this argument about most horror films, particularly slasher films, but this feels especially egregious. Smith gives us nothing to hold onto.

Smith has always done comedic films. It's probably absurd to think he could do anything as serious or as dramatic as this aspires to be. Woody Allen did do Match Point, but Smith is clearly no Woody Allen, not even close. It feels as if this movie was just an excuse for Smith to do a lot of frenetic running and a third act of incessant gunfire. There's a lot of things thrown onto the screen, and nothing that sticks.

One Star out of Five.
Rated R for strong and disturbing violence and brief nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 28 mins.


Popular Posts