Red State (2011)

Red State
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Cast: Michael Parks, John Goodman, Michael Angarano, Nicholas Braun, Kyle Gallner, Melissa Leo (and for all you TV people: Kevin Alejandro and Marc Blucas)
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

The teenagers Travis (Michael Angarano), Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun) and Jarod (Kyle Gallner) answer an online posting from a woman looking for group sex. She agrees to sleep with the three of them. What they don’t know is that the woman – Sara (Melissa Leo) – is bait from the local fundamentalist crazy church. The church kidnaps the three boys to judge them for their sins. But while the church – headed by Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) – enjoys their business a usual, the shit is hitting the fan and a police team is preparing to storm the church.

The movie has some very strong moments and a great second half. But I can’t help but feeling that the movie could have been better.

It is hard to exaggerate the Westboro Baptist Church without making it feel ridiculous, since they’re basically their own caricature. Kevin Smith mostly manages, though it sometimes feels a little too real and the laughter just gets stuck in your throat. Most of that is due to Michael Parks, who is just really, really great as Abin Cooper.

Though the rest of the cast isn’t bad either. Especially John Goodman and (surprisingly) Kevin Alejandro were extremely funny.

I just loved the showdown. It was a brilliant idea and it was wonderfully executed.

Sometimes it felt a little mean-spirited (not that they don’t deserve that) and a little pointless in its meanness. The whole thing doesn’t really go anywhere and at times I just wanted Kevin Smith to give the whole thing a little more direction.

I have to admit that my enjoyment of the film was also slightly dampened by the idiots sitting next to me. They showed two short movies before the main film and they kept bitching about that and as soon as the movie started, they fell asleep and when they woke up, they made stupid comments. Idiots.

Summarising: Still worth seeing. Just make surenot to sit next to idiots.

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