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Published on May 17th, 2008 | by gareth

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POSTAL

PostalmovieControversial independent filmmaker Uwe Boll has returned with a new film that is sure to generate more controversy than any of his previous releases to date. In the new film “Postal”, Boll lampoons politics, pop culture, corporations, religion, and society in an orchestra of violence and mayhem.

The film is loosely based on the hit game series of the same name by Running with Scissors, and stars Zack Ward as The Postal Dude. The Dude is desperate to get out of the run down town of Paradise Arizona, and get away from his corpulent and unfaithful spouse so he can finally get a life.

A series of bad events ranging from a job interview from hell to a shootout at a benefits office have left him at wits end and he reluctantly seeks the help of his uncle Dave (Dave Foley), who runs a bizarre cult.

Uncle Dave has his own set of problems as it seems he is deep in debt to the I.R.S. and his days of womanizing the eager members of his cult are about to be replaced by prison for failing to pay said taxes.

In a move born of desperation, The Dude and Uncle Dave plan to rob a series of rare and valuable dolls from a local amusement park and sell them online to generate the funds they both need.

The plan hits a snag when the local chapter of the Taliban is tasked by Osama Bin Ladin (Larry Thomas), to obtain the same dolls as part of their nefarious scheme to cause mass mayhem and destruction.

In no time, The Dude is caught up in a world gone mad with the Taliban, angry mobs, and everyone in between gunning for him as he trys to keep things together and not go Postal.

The film is less linear than traditional films and is more in the style of “Kentucky Fried Movie”, or the “Groove Tube” in that it employs a series of segments connected to form a whole. The film jumps from scene to scene, and is not afraid to go off on what seems to be an unrelated tangent, only to return to the theme later in the film.
While some of the jokes in the film do not work as well as they could have, there are some good laughs to the film and moments in the film that will make you think as Boll cleverly inserts commentary both subtle and blunt into his script.

Much has been made about the film supposedly making fun of the 9/11 attacks but in actuality it is only a very brief segment of the film and is not nearly as offensive as one would think when seen it its entirety. The key thing to remember about “Postal” is that it is a parody and satire of the world we live in, and as such, it can be offensive, violent, and shocking, but that is life in the modern age.

There were segments of the film that dragged a bit too much for my taste, and at times the acting from the supporting cast was a bit stiff, and some sets a bit meager. But that being said, “Postal” is an interesting mix of action and social commentary that is not afraid to step on any toes and calls it as its creator sees it.
Boll has made solid improvement since his early films such as “House of the Dead’, as he crafted a bold statement that is unflinching as it is candid. While some people may be quick to dismiss the film as simply a violent film with some low brow humor, to do so would be to undermine one of the most daring films in recent years as despite its problems, I could not see a major studio tacking the subject matter that this film covers.

My biggest issue with the film aside from what I mentioned previously is that in many ways, I think that Boll held back, as there were times when I think he could have pushed topics even further, and ramped up the violence and commentary further. As a fan of the game, there were segments that I had hoped to see included in the film such as The Dude shooting it out in the mall, battling the National Guard, and mixing it up with tree huggers, but in the end, there is only so much one can put into a movie and “Postal” is a film that is not afraid to take a stance, and run with it and not cater to political correctness.

3 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach


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