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Postal
cast: Zack Ward, Chris Coppola, Dave Foley, Verne Troyer, and Jackie Tohn

director: Uwe Boll

97 minutes (18) 2007
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Metrodome DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Jim Steel
In the fine tradition of films based on video games that must stretch back, oh... over a decade now, Postal is the film of the game. You can pretty much work out the essence of the game from the title. It's a shoot-em-up with irony. This, of course, means that director Uwe Boll has had to insert a plot into the thing in order to have a film. He seems to have done this by making a list of things that it would be interesting to see and then tried to join them all up. A 9/11 skit at the start where the hijackers argue over the number of virgins they are going to get? Check. Babes in bikinis with swastikas? Check. A ridiculously-overweight woman having sex? Check. Comedy midget (Verne Troyer playing himself) trapped in a suitcase? Check. Bin Laden and 'Dubya' dancing hand-in-hand through the grass together? Check. Unfortunately the continuity is a bit lax in places, which can cause the viewer to wonder if he has occasionally blacked out and missed a bit.

The plot. After the 9/11 opening we jump to the Paradise City trailer park (birthplace to Axel Rose, according to the film, but no Guns 'n' Roses on the soundtrack due, probably, to cost). Zake Ward is the unemployed loser destined to go postal. He's married to a 500lb woman who's cheating on him with his redneck neighbour. He's humiliated by surreal job interviews. He ends up in endless queues for welfare cheques. After a violent shootout at the welfare office, he finds himself at the front of the queue only to find that the office has closed for lunch. He then decides to buy some coffee and go and visit an old buddy to see if he can borrow some cash. He goes off to meet his friend, Uncle Dave (Dave Foley) who has started up his own religion, but unfortunately Uncle Dave owes a fortune in back taxes. They hatch a plan to steal a rare shipment of penis-shaped kids toys from Little Germany. However, Al Quaida is after the same shipment. Bin Laden is, of course, in hiding in America and is in league with George W. Bush. Shooting occurs repeatedly at increasingly shorter intervals until the film stops.

There is more to it than that, of course. A very wooden Jackie Tohn plays a sort of love interest, but some of the principal actors (Ward and Foley, for example) can act, and the Bush double is very convincing. It tries, but it just doesn't raise many laughs. That, in many circles, is regarded as a big flaw in a comedy. It's not dull, but it is annoying. I'd recommend a few beers before trying to watch it, and it might be endurable. I'm also guessing that Boll owns a copy of every film that Robert Rodriguez has ever made.

There is a ten-minute making-of documentary, which consists of someone with a camcorder wandering around the Little Germany set on the day of filming, and there is also the trailer. And then there is the director's inane commentary. In his defence, Boll is speaking in his second language. However, when you hear a door in the background opening and Boll says that he's glad his coffee's arrived as he's going to need it to keep awake for the next hour-and-a-half, you have to wonder what the point is.
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