Here’s a rich, angular, suspenseful film that’s packed with actors I admire turning in spectacular performances; Michael Parks, John Goodman, Stephen Root and Melissa Leo, with engaging cameos by Kevin Pollak, Anna Gunn and Matt L. Jones (Brandon “Badger” Mayhew from Breaking Bad). The film is significantly more visual and prettier than anything I’ve come to expect from the nimble, verbal pen and direction of Kevin Smith. It’s also a good deal darker, dead-serious and unrelenting than whatever I was expecting, but it’s also remarkably rich in language woven to drape Michael Parks in luscious opportunities to inhabit the part of an iconic, plausible, realistic, believable, spellbinding, damn-near-persuasive, righteous maniac. Move over, Robert Duvall.
It’s a film about ass-coverage, fanaticism and ubiquitous, fanatical ass-coverage — inronically, buttfucking is the central bone of contention in a tale that reaches around several unexpected corners to expose whole herds of sacred cows unflatteringly on the horns of legitimate, current dilemmas; realworld problems, skanky heroes, and precious little conventional, Hollywood bullshit.
While there were moments of prolonged yammering that rang ever-so-slightly false, they were generally screamed over the sound of semi-automatic riflefire, which makes up for an awful lot. I didn’t know bigtime lethal pandemonium came so easily to Kevin Smith. Now I do. Red State is a chewy, thoughtful kickass film that wipes feces and sputum off it’s testicles with wit, elan and an inimitable appetite for violent, colloqual charm.