Movies in Brief: ‘Postal’
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On its face, “Postal” seems to be a relevant slapstick satire despite the fact that it has been awaiting its American release for nearly a year. Like “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay,” Uwe Boll’s new film is a politically incorrect farce “inspired” by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. If that doesn’t raise a big enough red flag, the film also boasts the Canadian Dave Foley as a Warren Jeffs-esque polygamist cult leader, as well as a Sean Bell redux in the form of a police officer gunning down an unarmed Asian woman in her car because she doesn’t know how to drive. Mr. Boll — who is often called the world’s worst film director — and his writing partner, Bryan Knight, show true foresight in encapsulating so much of today’s pop culture from the vantage point of a year ago.
The religious cult of Uncle Dave (Mr. Foley) and the Taliban both covet the latest must-have toy, known as Krotchy dolls, which apparently fetch $4,000 apiece. Uncle Dave hopes to secure the dolls and then unload them to pay off the IRS. But the Taliban has discovered that the dolls make great carriers of weapons of mass destruction. So a jihad is imminent for the two religious groups.
For a small film getting a limited release, “Postal” has eye-popping special effects and an impressive cast of D-list actors that includes Mini-Me, Verne Troyer. The film is mildly amusing at times. Terrorists fixate on spending their afterlife deflowering virgins. President Bush (Brent Mendenhall) and Osama bin Laden (Larry Thomas) exchange dialogue from “Brokeback Mountain.” But a massacre of children pushes the odious factor far beyond “Escape From Guantanamo Bay” and even “South Park,” and into the just plain offensive. The German Mr. Boll and the Canadian Mr. Knight seem to want to comment on American culture, but their bystander perspectives clearly do nothing to inform them how to maximize their material.