by Irma Arkus
Despite the flood of criticisms, Uwe Boll’s Postal has more than exceeded my expectations making it one of my favorite films of the year.
Postal is, like so many of Boll’s films, based on a same name video-game. Unlike most video-game based movies, however, Postal stays true to its origins.
We’ve all groaned watching Resident Evil, Doom, and even Final Fantasy. And yes, we’ve also screamed in agony watching Boll’s own gems like BloodRayne, BloodRayne II and Alone in The Dark. Postal, however, has subject matter that for the most part is brash, culturally insensitive, and even insulting, providing a much needed humour relief.
Postal has it all. It pokes fun at Islamic terrorism, corporate culture, organized religion, cops, celebrities and media. Even children and elderly get shot (yes, the children!). And, perhaps a bit less outrageous due to delay in the film’s release, even G.W. Bush gets his just deserts.
Zach Ward’s acceptable performance as Postal Dude is overshadowed by that of the amazing Dave Foley who plays Postal Dude’s uncle and a religious leader.
In fact, casting for Postal would be an envy of most films, as familiar faces of Erick Avari, Ralf Moeller, J.K. Simmons, and even Verne Troyer grace the screen. Not to mention the incredible appearance of Seymour Cassel and David Huddleston as curmudgeonly commentators. And it is worth mentioning that all these face would represent very little if not for the steady eye of the cinematographer, Mathias Neuman.
The film is outright funny. And bloody. And funny. Postal is, in essence, an instant cult-classic film.
It would not be Boll’s film without controversy though. Last few weeks were spent rehearsing a well-prepared speech, as Boll points out that Postal is not bad, and yet no one will get to see it, as its release is confined to a minimal screen presence in North America.
“This movie,” explains Boll delicately,”should kick you in the balls. It is not a ‘nice satire’ but a dirty, insulting movie.” As for its political message, Boll explains: “I tried to make a political satire, that would insult everybody, including myself. I tried to show that we are all wrong and if we continue with our actions, we will destroy everything, and I was extremely pissed about the Bush government…a criminal ruling the world?!”
He adds: “I have nothing against Hollywood movies, but every week we see same movies: Iron Man, Hellboy II, Batman II… And I am shocked at the reviewers. I am not sure what the job of a reviewer is but how can a reviewer write ‘it would be better if this movie not get any screens’ – is this really what reviewer does? Week after week we get same Hollywood blockbusters…reviewers protect these films that cost $100m to advertise and $200m to produce. And then every once in a while they endorse an art house film.”
Postal is a bit like Boll himself. Between the scenes of brash and loud nature, one can also find some truth.