Kevin Smith goes for a more serious guise in Red State, which he has claimed will be his second last ever film. ‘Silent Bob’ has gone for a gritty look at religion and it’s by products in what has been called a horror film.
I’m not sure why but I do respect Smith, I love Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob and respect that for Red State, he has chosen to go down the independent road.
Down to the story: We’re introduced to three high school kids in middle America, one of whom, sees a religious protest at a funeral of a local gay kid. Smith brilliantly uses a class room scene to show us what the area and the kids’ lives are like. The trio of sex curious teens respond to an online ad and go on a road trip to get laid.
Of course it goes wrong, they have landed themselves slap bang in the middle of religious freak land and either tied up or in a cage. Lovely! Smith’s writing and direction here is nothing short of brilliant, beautifully building up the story. Whether it was the content of the film or the script I’m not entirely sure but I found myself getting more frustrated as the story went on.
From the moment John Goodman arrives on the scene as Agent Joseph Keenan, the story unfortunately becomes predictable. Highlight if the film has to be the absolutely fantastic acting from Michael Parks (Kill Bill) as cult leader, Abin Cooper. And, it’s not every day you get to see Kevin Pollak lose half his head.
By the end though, not even a FBI hearing acting as a conclusion can pull this back. Many echoes of Waco, Texas, from 1993 waft around the film, which the storyline was undoubtedly going to get.
This film started beautifully but unfortunately faded, if anything, which maybe was its job, it bolstered some opinions on organized religions.