Review: Red State (2011)

“People just do the strangest things when they believe they’re entitled. But they do even stranger things when they just plain believe.”

Red State is an independent horror-comic-drama film from writer/directer Kevin Smith. The film stars Michael Parks (Planet Terror), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski) and Melissa Leo (The Fighter).

Red State unfolds in a small town dominated by a fundamentalist preacher, Abin Cooper. It tells the story of three high school boys who, on their way to an internet arranged meeting with a woman, end up crossing paths with Cooper. The encounter sets into motion a series of events that causes all hell to break loose

First off, I’m gonna apologise to the sheer lateness of this review. I’ve been putting it off for months for some reason. I think I just found it a very hard film to put into words. For that reason I am going to keep this pretty short and sweet.

I’m not going to bore you with the controversy that was surrounding Red State when releasing, just going to talk about it as a film from my view as a movie and a die hard Kevin Smith fan.

Red State is the most inaccessible Kevin Smith film out of his filmography. It’s unlike anything he’s ever made. Yet it’s one that probably captures his best film making ability since Chasing Amy. From his independent debut of Clerks which made everyone take notice, Smith has lead a career with a steady rise of mainstream films (for his standard). It seems almost fitting that he latest effort was stripped down and brought it back to an indie heart.

Michael Parks was a revelation, he has incredible screen presence. Now if you add what is a fantastic script from Smith you get a very positive potent mix. There is a monologue by Parks which is mesmerising as it is uncomfortable because you feel like your sat in the church being preached upon. A real gem of a scene. Another star point is John Goodman, who is looking remarkably healthier and full of energy who plays ATF Agent Joseph Keenan. Goodman is electric and has some of the best lines in the film that add unintentional humour.

I really liked Red State, and not just as a Kevin Smith fan. It’s not an easy film to watch by any means but it certainly is his most mature creation. I think the ending could of been done better but was still satisfied in the end. It’s a film that really divides opinions for all fans and film fiends alike. It’s not perfect but I found it better than some.

2 Responses to “Review: Red State (2011)”
  1. Slick Nick says:

    Film was wank, a 2/5 at best, in my view, and solidified Smith’s status as one of the worst directors working today.

    • Luke Grima says:

      See thats the opposite for me in some respects. Kevin Smith is one of my Top 5 directors (personally). This was a decent breakaway from his own ViewAskew universe. Yes it could of been away better but I enjoyed it none the less.

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