Sunday, April 11, 2010

Uwe Boll's best movie so far?

Given the negative reputation that German director Uwe Boll has among many movie fans, and some jokes that are offered in this film, I was tempted to included it as part of the "Nazis Quit!" mini-blogaton. Ultimately, I chose to just post it like any other review. It is, after all, the very best picture so far from the reputed cinematic weapon of mass-destruction himself. (That said, I am of the opinion that Boll's reputation is inflated by critics and movie-goers who need to watch more films before they start throwing labels like "worst movie ever" and "worst filmmaker ever."

Postal (2008)
Starring: Zack Ward, Dave Foley, Chris Coppola, Jackie Tohn, Larry Thomas and Vern Troyer
Director: Uwe Boll
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

An unemployed factory worker (Ward) teams up with his con-artist uncle (Dave Foley) to steal a shipment of highly collectible dolls and make their fortune selling them. Unfortunately, Osama bin Laden (Larry Thomas) wants to steal the same dolls for far more nefarious purposes.

Any movie that mocks Osama bin Laden and the homicidal idiots who find him an inspiring figure is one that I automatically have a favorable disposition toward. The world needs works of art that disrespects them in every way possible. Mockery of the Lions of Islam were the highlights of "American Dreamz" (2006) and "An American Carol" (2008)--the only good part of the latter film, actually--and it's a definite highlight of this film. (The funniest joke in the whole film involves Taliban terrorists, an SUV, and the celebratory firing of automatic weapons.)

However, Osama and his fellow psychotic murderers are not the only target in this dark farce that is loosely based on a first-person shooter computer game. The trashier side of American culture and consumerism, the more vicious side of American corporate culture, and the capacity of human beings to buy into the most ridiculous notions if they are presented in a cloak of religious authority. (Although, amusingly, it is a couple of the Muslim criminals who are the prime target of ridicule in the film who come to their senses regarding the lies their leaders feed them.)

As much as much as this movie amused me, I also feel it went too far on too many occasions. Too many of the jokes are simple gross-out gags or taken so far that they cross the line from funny into intentionally and heavy-handedly offensive, while writer/director Uwe Boll tries to cram too much into the film. Basically, almost like the was trying to make a film in the classic Abrams/Zucker mold but failed to understand that those comedies had relatively simple storylines jammed with weird puns and sight gags, while Boll jammed his film with plots and subplots until nothing got the proper amount of time.