Tuesday, December 13, 2011

1659 - Red State

I have to say that if I hadn't seen the credits for this film I would never guess that it was made by Kevin Smith.  Once you deconstruct it it starts to make sense to some degree - the religious commentary, the long-heavy handed speeches, but visually and performance wise this is nothing like a typical Kevin Smith film.  For those who don't know, it's the story of a Fred Phelps type cult and the random events that lead to them being taken down. 
There is an immediacy to this film that we haven't seen from his other work.  And it's refreshingly non-predictable.  It could go anywhere at any moment and it feels extremely true to life.  We're not following a character so much as we're following the details of a situation. 
The cast here is pretty damn impressive, and most of them are gone as quickly as they come.  We've got a lot of televisions best performers here in quick roles, but no one steals the show quite like Michael Parks (John Goodman isn't too damn shabby himself).  Parks is the character and as much as you despite him, you're enthralled.  The real beauty of this film is how you emotionally shift perspectives while watching it - no small feat. 
While completely different from most of Smith's work, it's something that really shows us how goddamn great he could be - especially coming off of such a stinker as Cop Out.  He's reportedly retiring in the very near future, which is sad considering how strong of a filmmaker he's becoming.
I wasn't expecting to like this film at all, but it's quite good.  It really grabs you and pulls you along for a ride.  Well done, Smitty.

1 comment:

Matt Williams said...

Ha! Missed this post when you originally posted.

Glad you liked it. I liked this film a lot. Parks was great. So was Melissa Leo and Goodman.

I started a blog recently, checked it out!


Good review, Sir! Loved Red State.