Saturday, December 17, 2011

Red State

After driving past protesters picketing the funeral of a recently deceased homosexual, a young man discusses the events with his other classmates in his high school civics. After class, its usual Friday night small town stuff, and the teen and two friends decide to rendezvous with a young woman looking for love they found on the internet. Upon arriving at the woman's trailer, the trio find themselves drug and held captive by the same fundamentalist group protesting the funerals. Intending on sacrificing them for their lascivious sins, the cult is soon disrupted by the ATF who takes their own sinister steps, this time not in God's name, but country. "Red State" is Kevin Smith's full throttle, Tarantinoesque diatribe of America, that functions more as an example of why a director should stick to what he knows. To elaborate, "Red State" is engaging movie when it sticks to dialogue and characters, something Smith excels out. When it attempts blistering satire and scenes of kinetic violence, he falls short and seems way out of league. As stated though, there are some things to admire here. In addition to the dialogue, John Goodman and Michael Parks deliver fine performances, as an ATF agent and the insidious cult leader, respectively. "Red State" is an interesting experiment that reinforces Kevin Smith's strengths and weaknesses.