Postal (2007)

The Postal Dude lives in the desolate town of Paradise, Arizona. His life is made miserable by an unsuccessful job interview, an unfaithful wife, and a futile attempt to apply for unemployment benefits. He joins his uncle Dave, who runs an Armageddon cult, in a plan to steal a shipment of the popular Krotchy dolls. What they don’t know is that Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are also planning to steal the dolls for their own reasons.

Uwe Boll directed a number of movies in his career where he examined the question how far can you push a person before they lose it, and take their anger out on the world. After he broached the topic first with his 1994 German film Amoklauf he found the perfect template in the video game Postal where your character was sent on a senseless killing spree. Boll’s Postal is based on the second installment of the franchise that was a tad more nuanced than the original. Another terrible video game adaptation from Boll, you might say, and then based on the most vilified representatives of its kind? Fortunately, this time we’re in for a positive surprise.

A first for a video game adaptation by Boll, the film is faithful to its source material, and even features a pretty funny cameo of the game designers. In addition to including various plot elements of the game, the movie also captures its tone extremely well. It fully succeeds in cranking up the level of offensiveness against everyone and everything US society holds dear. You think of any aspect that makes patriotic Americans uncomfortable or irritated when it’s brought up, and Postal will bring it up.

The conspiracy theory that Al-Qaeda was free to operate in the US government’s involvement is also ridiculed in a very creative way. I can imagine why the movie may have confounded people’s hate for Boll, as the satirical aspects possibly did not sit well with half of the US population, and the other half likely found the jokes too tasteless. Despite all this, even the most offensive incidents are delivered with a fairly lighthearted vibe as characters are moving from one absurd scene to an even absurder one.

The production is pretty good without any of the weaknesses of Boll’s previous movies. For once, everything fell in place for him. A good budget, committed actors, plenty of well-staged action, and a plot that moves at a good pace. Zack Ward plays the Postal Dude perfectly as a quite likable guy, who is a walking assembly of contradictory attitudes about the American way of life. Even German bodybuilder Ralph Moeller gives a surprisingly funny performance as equally corrupt and dumb cop. There’s also a cameo by Uwe Boll as himself where he makes fun of his German heritage in the most tasteless way one can imagine.

Postal is offensive and obnoxious, but in case you don’t mind this attitude you’re in for a pretty good satire. If you are willing to only watch a single Uwe Boll movie in your life, I would recommend it to be Postal.

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