Harry Brown is a 2009 geriatric revenge movie starring Michael Caine. Although the movie takes place in England, the setting looks more like Hell itself. Crime is rampant with robbery, drugs, and pornography spilling into every street corner. Harry gets fed up with the violence, and decides the only way to put a stop to things is with more violence. He goes on a killing rampage, taking out all sorts of punk kids and drug dealers. When the bodies start piling up, the incompetent police force is completely impotent at tracking down the killer. It is obvious to everyone else that Harry is the killer, yet they still can’t figure it out. The police are led by Emily Mortimer who plays “super serious stuck up bitch”, a role she plays in every movie and has since perfected. The violence is portrayed in a realistic fashion, and the movie does take into account the fact that our titular septuagenarian has numerous medical conditions to grapple with while dealing out vigilante justice. At the end of the movie, nothing is gained, nobody learns any lessons, and the entire thing felt like an exercise in monotony.
God Bless America
If Harry Brown was an elderly man of action who didn’t mince words, then the main character of God Bless America is a guy who likes to hear himself talk and takes action as seldom as possible. This movie stars Joel Murray who plays the washed up, less funny version of his brother Bill Murray. Oh wait, let me start over. Joel Murray plays a grumpy middle-aged dude who hates everybody and everything. He grows disgusted with the state of affairs in America as he watches TV drivel like American Idol, TMZ, My Super Sweet 16, and Charm School. Now, I can identify with him. These reality shows are the most fucking godawful things ever to air on TV. We’d be a lot better off if people like Kim Kardashian or Honey Boo Boo never became famous.
Eventually, things spiral out of control, and Murray and co-star Tara Lynne Barr go on a killing spree across America taking out the people they can’t stand like hardcore fundamentalist Christians and Republican pundits. The concept is totally awesome, because these people really are the scum of society. However, the execution of the movie left a lot to be desired. What should have been a madcap, frenzied, breathless killing spree was instead a slow, boring trudge from place to place. The two main characters kill someone, then spend the next 30 minutes talking shit about fame-whores, then kill the next person, and repeat. Instead of being a brilliant satire, it comes off more like the whining of a couple of losers who hate everybody. It’s sad because the concept of this movie is great, and it really deserved better. In the movie’s defense, it was well done (acting, directing, etc.), and there were several laugh out loud moments.