The Movie Buffer

Monday, January 12, 2009

DVD review: Postal


A spoiler a day keeps the doctor away.


Uwe Boll – this name strikes fear into the heart of every videogame/film fan. From House of the Dead to Far Cry, Boll has become one of the most prolific and maligned video game film producers with half a dozen completed and several in development. Brutally maligned is more like it. Rightfully so because none of his films have been well received.

Writers note: With so many unsuccessful films under his belt, you may ask yourself where Boll gets the money for these films. In Germany, there is a government program that allows investors to get big tax deductions and other write-offs for financing films, especially if they fail to turn a profit.

Postal is yet another strike out notch on Boll’s bedpost. Based on run-and-gun third person shooter of same name, it stars an unnamed man (usually called “Dude”, “Bro” or “Guy”) who has no particular agenda other than trying to make a living. Along the way he gets involved in several shootouts, a heist for a cult, and a terrorist plot. It’s also supposed to be a humorous, so they’ve heaped on some shit and gay jokes.

The film is a collection of 5 subplots connected poorly by “random” events in an attempt to capture the open world, choose-your-own-adventure aspect of the game. An open world works great in a game because the player thinks it and then makes it happen. In a movie it’s terrible because it’s difficult to follow one event to the next because what seems like a logical progression to the director may seem like an incoherent mess to the viewer.

Zack Ward, Dave Folley and Verne Troyer are in this film, but phone in their performances. Even if it’s a cash-grab guys, do your job!

There’s not much to say about because the film is pure fluff. I guess Boll was trying to make a movie that’s awfully bad, but kind of endearing. It’s too bad that everything that happens in this movie is so crass that any nugget of satire that may have existed was reduced to a dick joke. This sort of film would have been a challenge for any director (I’m looking at you DOOM director Andrzej Bartkowiak) which is probably why the rights weren’t picked up before Boll.

One thing in Boll’s defense is that he seems to be a guy who loves what he does and doesn’t mind taking some flak to get his projects completed. Look at Christopher Walken and Samuel L Jackson, they’ve done some goofy films and people love them. So why not Boll? Well, you need at least a couple decent films under your belt before you start going out on a limb. Then, people need to know that you realize that you’re doing a crummy picture.

Postal is a disjointed failure that wastes the talents of its actors and more importantly the viewers’ time. Pass on Postal. I tried to work in an undeliverable joke, but it didn't seem to have legs.


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