REVIEW: Red State

Red State
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith (screenplay)
Starring: John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Michael Parks and Kyle Gallner

Usually, Kevin Smith’s status as a writer/director mirrors that of Woody Allen.  When he’s on, most notably in Clerks, he’s dead-on and when he’s off in movies like Dogma or Cop Out, he’s just dead.  Red State marks a departure for him as a filmmaker in many ways.  First and foremost is that it’s not really a comedy outside the occasional chuckle, and second is that the grotesque happens just as much as it is talked about.

Red State is neither a total success or complete failure.  It explores a militant anti-gay Christian church in an unnamed state in Middle America.  Though the church is meant to mirror the infamous Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, Smith distances himself from that as the church members lay down their picket signs and pick up automatic weapons.

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