A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this film is deliberately crafted to push buttons with "edgy" material; regrettably, the ham-fisted level of execution means that the metaphorical buttons are not so much pushed as smashed to oblivion. An endless series of sexually charged, racially insensitive, and brutally violent "jokes" makes this movie as uncomfortable as it is unnecessary. It lacks the point of view or coherence that might make it enjoyable, or even interesting.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the miserable town of Paradise, the Dude (Zack Ward) is without work, without happiness, without any chance of advancement. His charlatan uncle Dave (Dave Foley) convinces the Dude to hijack a shipment of that year's hot toy, a penis-shaped stuffed toy. What the Dude and Dave do not know is that Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist followers plan to use the dolls to distribute a biowarfare agent to wipe out America; soon the Dude is pursued by every side of the law as he's trying to stay alive.
Is it any good?
POSTAL may be trying to shoot for the anything-goes lunacy of the South Park cartoons, but it lacks the intrinsic good-heartedness of the South Park franchise. Postal may also be trying for the social satire of the sharp, savvy Borat or the fierce Fight Club, but the execution is so clumsy and dim that the bluntness of the 'comedy' is far duller than any satirical edge Boll might imagine he's bringing to the material.
Director Uwe Boll is best-known for adapting video games into bad, but profitable, films; Boll's take on the video game Postal -- which, as a game, followed a deranged postal employee as he went on a killing spree -- is a slapdash satire that feels overstuffed and yet thin, shallow in execution but deeply offensive.
Talk to your kids about ...
Parents can talk about the balancing act inherent in over-the-top satire: What makes one like Blazing Saddles a classic, while this movie simply feels tired and cheap?
Discuss the film's repeated 9/11 jokes; are there some things you can't turn into comedy?
The director has a reputation for bad-but-moneymaking movies; does his ineptitude matter if his films turn a profit?
- In theaters: May 23, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: August 28, 2008
- Cast: Dave Foley, J.K. Simmons, Zack Ward
- Director: Uwe Boll
- Studio: Vivendi
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 102 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: extremely crude humor throughout, including strong sexuality, graphic nudity, violence, and for pervasive language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.