I think I liked ‘Red State’ more than the average critic. I like its frantic pace and its completely nutty religious wackos. Michael Parks is amazing as the enigmatic cult leader. It’s an all-around fun little film that really caught me by surprise.
Directed by Kevin Smith
Starring: Michael Parks, John Goodman, and Melissa Leo
With the hullabaloo surrounding ‘Red State’ and its premiere, it was pretty easy for most people to become soured against the film before even seeing it. It’s true that Kevin Smith had been running his mouth quite a bit before the movie even screened.
There are a few things that I really like about ‘Red State’. First off, no one is safe. Absolutely no one. That makes a movie fun. Usually, we have a few main characters that we know will never be killed off. That’s not true of ‘Red State’. Anyone can die. Anyone. I love Michael Parks in this. His sermon at the beginning conjures up just as much fear and foreboding as Christopher Waltz’s opening performance in ‘Inglourious Basterds‘.
However, I don’t care for Kevin Smith’s soap box preaching through his dialogue. He becomes almost as preachy as the religious people that he can’t stand. It borders on hypocrisy. Still, when the dialogue is good, it crackles. I also don’t really like that halfway through, the film turns into a story about government bureaucracy at its worst. Pick a subject and stick with it. Sheesh!
A lot of people have exclaimed that ‘Red State’ is really violent. I don’t think it’s that violent. Intense? Yes. Fairly graphic? Yes. Compared to some of the other movies at the festival, though, this violence is pretty mild. It’s more like ‘Die Hard’ type of violence.
In the end, I like ‘Red State’, but it isn’t something that will be on anyone’s Top 10 lists come the end of 2011.