Kevin Smith is like Marmite: a yeasty, tub-like alluvium that has never made a film worth watching. His latest, Red State, is the sort of cack-handed, half-baked shambles of a love-letter to Tarantino that ought never to have made it beyond the rim of the clear glass jar that is Smith’s head, and certainly not have spread onto the cinema screen that is, by way of metaphor, a piece of toast. Ostensibly an action-horror film which pits national law enforcement against a fundamentalist Christian church at their highly-fortified compound, where they have been ritualistically murdering those they see as deviants, in a horrendously shot firefight which echoes the famous siege of Waco in 1993. Smith’s direction is clunkily evident throughout the film as he tries to skirt cliché in the most dull and unimaginative ways possible whilst maintaining a personal catalogue of clichés all his own with a script that is at once obnoxious, preachy, self-satisfied and constantly and unfailingly inadequate.
Words: Oisín Murphy