Kazed Reviews: Kevin Smith's Red State (2011)

Synopsis: Set in Middle America, a group of teens receive an online invitation for sex, though they soon encounter fundamentalists with a much more sinister agenda.

I've waited a long time to see this film, and I finally got a chance to see it. No no, I've waited a long time to see a Kevin Smith film, and I'm glad I got a chance to see it.

This was undoubtedly much more different than his past exploits, and it didn't feel like a Kevin Smith film(If you've seen any of the pre-Zack and Miri films, you'll get it).

The concept of the film is interesting enough, but I couldn't help but feel a slight bit let down. It contained elements to make the film as entertaining as it could be, like guns, action, preaching about the Bible, and gratuitous violence. Okay, maybe not the Bible part, but the inclusion of it gave it a sense of purpose. The reference to the folks over at the Westboro Baptist Church was a nice touch, and the differences between them and the Cooper Family in Red State are.. well, guns. Smith himself has stated that he drew inspiration about the infamous Kansas family, and the resemblance is uncanny.

Anyway, John Goodman, Michael Parks and Melissa Leo all played their respective roles beautifully. Just them being on screen for a minute and you can tell they're all season veterans in this business. Michael Parks portrayed the sinister pastor with great aplomb; from the moment he was at the altar to the moment he was holding the firearm, every moment he was on screen it was clear to me that nobody could have played this part better than Parks himself. Likewise with Goodman, his role as ATF Agent Keenan was obviously a conflicted character, more so toward the end, but his monologue in the court room after the big scene between the government agents and the Cooper family was a beautifully scripted scene, and the emotion that Goodman delivered was phenomenal.

Red State was a fast-paced, violent-but-beautiful addition to Smith's long legacy of cult classics, and a film which could possibly be his strongest, though not my favourite. Will I be buying the DVD/Blu-ray? Hell yes.

Performances: 8/10

Plot: 8/10

Visuals: 7/10

Dialogue: 9/10

Overall: 8/10


I'm Kazed, the Administrator/Co-Founder of Movieville.org. I love films, which was why I started this site, as an outlet to post reviews. From there, we began posting news bits, then trailers. I've