Out score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Man, I really wanted this movie to be freaking amazing. Ever since I heard about Kevin Smith doing a “horror movie” I was really psyched. Well firstly let me clear the air saying that this is not a horror film. It features the horror from the actions of a religious cult, but it ends there. It has a lot of tension and action it in so I think it falls more on that genre. I honestly couldn’t write this review right after watching it because I wasn’t sure what I thought about the film overall. I have been a fan of Kevin Smith since ’94 and I have been a fan of his work up to “Jersey Girl”, that’s right I liked that film. I was not a fan of “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and I never even saw “Cop Out”. I was hoping that this was going to be a turn for the better. But like Kevin Smith said in the behind the scenes for “Red State”, he is retiring and doesn’t care about his film career. So why should we? Does this mean that Kevin Smith sucks as a director…hell no. Don’t get me wrong, I think that this is prob his most smartly directed film since “Clerks” but I just didn’t dig it.
The story follows three boys who go out one night looking for sex and end up the prisoners of a cult religious group, the Five Points Church. This group of religious followers we find out are more like terrorists with an bunker under the church and a room full of guns. They have prisoners locked up awaiting judgement and they are mission is to punish them for their crimes of being homosexuals. There is a lot of preaching and then all hell breaks out when the cops and the government gain wind on this operation. The group let by Pastor Abin Cooper as they fight the law in pursuit of their holy mission.
I have to say one thing is that the acting in the film is really intense and notable. Michael Parks as Pastor Abin Cooper gives one heck of an profound performance and leave you with your mouth open. John Goodman as Special Agent Keenan kicks some ass with his serious and troubled character. It was not a mistake that Melissa Leo won the Oscar for “The Fighter” this year, the woman knows how to act. Even though it is directed well by Kevin Smith, it is shocking…it is controversial…it is intense, but overall I just didn’t get into it. The film jumps from religious blabbering to intense thriller to all out action film…just too much to process in one sitting. If I would have written this review immediately after watching it my score would have been a lot lower…so maybe it is not as bad as I say it is but either way disappointed. Could I watch it again?…maybe but I wouldn’t be jumping on that train anytime soon. Fans of Kevin Smith, might want to check it out since it is like nothing he has ever done but otherwise interest in this film is probably going to be scarce.