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RED STATE (2011) Review without spoilers


Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith

Stars:Michael Parks, Melissa Leo and John Goodman

I was excited about this since I saw the first  teaser.

Kevin Smith doing something else than comedy? Hellyeah!!

I just recently had the chance to see it, and I was surprised.

It`s nothing you would have expected of Kevin Smith.But I am happy that he is open to do more than just comedies.

It all starts with 3 teenagers, who are seeking sex via craigslist, some blind date , set up via cell-phone.But they are just played with,and end up  getting caught by some Christian Cult to be executed for their sins.

As much as i`d love to, I cannot give away the whole plot, that would be spoiler after spoiler.

The trailer gives away enough , I guess…but that is only a third of the story.

The twists and turns you get here aren`t given away, though.

This is a dark movie, I couldn`t make out  any positive characters, maybe a few innocent victims, but no good characters. Everybody has done bad things, with different weight to them. At least the characters important to the story, some ATF agents you cannot judge, cause they are just there, doing their jobs.Maybe later, I can do a full-on review that can contain spoilers, but since this is still going to play in theatres, I keep that possibility open for later.

Michael Park steals the show in this one , playing the leader of this cult.

It`s a joy to watch him play, and if you haven`t seen him in more than FROM DUSK TIL DAWN, you will recognize him by the way he is speaking. He looks more like Rutger Hauer here , than the Sheriff from FDTD.

Also very good is John Goodman in his role, he is the leader of the ATF team , im not sure what his rank was…he is given no title or rank in the imdb list, and I just plain forgot.

He is playing serious here, but has a few lines, that sure  will make you smile…one being”simple just shit itself”. Which I will remember as one the few funny moments in this entire film. Just watching him act is pure joy in my book. He has made quite a few films that are ranking high on my list. There are a few actors I feel I have seen before, and the casting is near perfect. I just had problems with the acting of one character or two, but maybe the acting was intended this way, so I won`t  call it bad acting, let`s call it my “sympathy meter running low” for them. There is quite a bit of the so-called “shaky cam”, but I feel it works well for those scenes.Jason, if you`re reading this-don`t let that make you not watch the movie.

You`d miss out on a good one.

Kevin Smith stated, that this isn`t a political film, and that there is no agenda here.

You could think that, cuz there are lots of political things here, that could be interpreted as criticism towards  right-wing politics or something. But I guess it`s nothing that would make you switch sides or anything, it`s just a bunch of things on display  in this film that are wrong in the USA, or in society in general.

I am really not somebody who looks for stuff like camerawork or editing, unless its totally obvious and easy to make out. I`m writing reviews, but I am not sitting there with a pencil, taking notes of such stuff. But I was impressed with the images I saw, the shaky-cam was put to good use, I believe.I really couldn’t say much about the editing,,,who are those crazy people, who can keep track of those things?  I sure can`t after just one watch. This film switches from Teenie-movie to Horror to Thriller to comedy without effort

The ending….i liked it a lot, another surprise. I wouldn`t have wanted it any other way.

If I hate something, it is a predictable ending. I read a few reviews before this, and some people are bitching about the ending being somewhat copied from some Cohen Brothers film,,,I dunno…I am not a robot , who can remember just any movie i`ve ever seen, and I believe , I have seen quite a few Cohen films. I don`t care…..

It was a near perfect film to me.  And John Goodmans character was the only one I felt something like sympathy for.

Notable is the not existing score, something that I realized after maybe 30 or so minutes into the film. And I thought that is awesome, cuz very often the score  feels like the laughing track in TV Sitcoms. I sure didn`t miss it. If anything, it made this movie better.

I can only recommend this film to you, if you like Action, Horror or Thriller. You get something from any of these genres…spiced up with a little dark comedy .

My rating, if I had to rate this? 8 out of 10. And I hope , that Kevin Smith is making a lot more films in the future, cuz I like where this is pointing.

Over and out!..OOOPS..just one more thing: This movies cost only reported 4 million. Finally a low-budget film again, that blows some big budget crap films out of the water. Well done , Kevin.

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3 responses

  1. dude, great review! i wanna see this one really bad, so hopefully it’ll hit the theaters down here. I doubt it though. dvd then! and i liked the fact that there’s no score. i’ve only ever seen a few films like that and it made such a big difference in a good way. i also heard that “red state” is kinda like 2 films. like it changes genre’s at some point and turns into a completely different type of film. true?

    September 5, 2011 at 9:11 PM

  2. I’m curious to see this one, especially as his output since “Dogma” has essentially been garbage, as Smith went for easy laughs rather than trying to push himself. I guess someone pointed this out after “Cop Out” which only highlighted how far he’d fallen from his glory days.

    September 10, 2011 at 11:24 PM

  3. Isnt it funny how much we expect from someone , wo impressed us once or twice? He isnt allowed to fail…!? I think every director has the right to fail, as long as he doesnt all of the time…this one shows, that he can do more than just comedies, and that he is willing to explore the medium film.
    thanks for the comments, much appreciated.

    September 11, 2011 at 1:50 AM

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