IHAO on ... God Bless America

One of the most difficult things about watching as many movies as I do, especially now that I focus on bringing commentary and criticism to it, is that eventually, you find a movie that is pretty good, with some pretty interesting ideas, and it just ... already exists in a better form.  It brings nothing to the table above and beyond another film that touches on the same subjects but in a better way, with stronger script and stronger actors and a stronger director and just overall a better movie.  God Bless America is just ... not quite good enough.

Very few times can I point to two films and actually show the difference between objective ratings.  There is so much to love about film that many people cannot separate their love from what they are watching.  And that is a perfectly fine thing, mind you.  That is what makes film so great.  It touches us, sometimes privately and personally, just like all forms of art.  It speaks to the viewer, and even if a film just isn't as well made, that film can be "better."

Ugh, whomever it is that has the job of picking my gifs needs to be fired.

Now, I'm saying all this because this movie is just not as good as Super.  Both films are about rage and cleansing of our society by a man who wants to kill, and his young just-older-than-teenage girl that has a special relationship with him that is both semi-romantic and semi-familial.  The problem is, God Bless America focuses just on talk and character, and Super actually has things happen.  It has stakes, it has obstacles, and it really GREAT actors.  God Bless America has no stakes, no obstacles, and its actors just aren't up to snuff.

Those aren't the only issues.  It's lighting is odd, the music is filled with montages and very out of place choices.  The way the story unfolds is basically null of any consequences.  The big schtick is that everything goes wrong for our protagonist in his life, including finding out he has a brain tumor.  But OH NO WOWSERS the doctor totally messed it all up and gave him the wrong reading and the tumor isn't there!  Spoilers by the way, but this lazy plotting makes me so incredibly upset.  There just aren't any consequences to the actions these characters take, and ultimately it makes this whole film meaningless.

Ok, now that I've gotten all that out of my system ... this movie is pretty good.  Yeah, I know I just complained and fumed about how it wasn't.  But Tara Lynn Barr is a great little actress, even if the writing isn't all that great.  When the film is violent, it is really great; that said, it is very VERY sparse on the violence, which hurts the film.  And the film's emphasis on these characters relationships is a perfectly nice and enjoyable ride.  I am not against character-films that use their time to delve deep into characters as its form of growth and tension and conflict, despite what it might have sounded like above.  This all just ... I've seen it done better.

Oh, and the finale is bullcrap.  Just absolute and utter garbage.  A little more stupid trope-ic cliche, a whole bunch of preaching, and then the rug is just yanked out from underneath us as an audience.  Honestly, the finale makes me angry.  It took a film I wanted really hard to recommend to folks and just killed it for me.  I really just ... I'm almost speechless for how upsettingly bad it is.  It is shot crappily, has terrible music over it, is written just awfully and even worse, is convenient in every single way.  I hated every single ounce of Act 3 of this film.  I hated it.  I cannot recommend this film.  A better film exists.

Go watch Super.  That move is phenomenal, A+++.  This film just gets worse and worse until it ends in a sputtering garbled joke of what it could have been.  Ugh.

Grade: C--

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