I seriously think that Uwe Boll’s “Postal” will turn a lot of people’s opinion of him around. It’s not perfect and will get on the nerves of the more opinionated critics out there, but it’s such an insanely fun ride that most of its flaws are forgivable.
Sort of/kind of adapted from the video game series of the same name, the story is about an unnamed protagonist “Dude” who lives a miserable existence in the city of Paradise. His wife seems to weigh more than the trailer home they live in AND she cheats on him. He gets fired from his job and the welfare office refuses to process his application. As a cherry topping for this crap cake of a day, he almost gets mugged by a beggar while calling someone up to ask for money. Things are not looking rosy. Out of desperation he goes to see his uncle Dave, who also happens to be “Uncle Dave” the founder of a new religion that lives in hedonistic luxury, for help. Dave doesn’t admit it, but he needs Dude’s help a lot more than Dude needs his. The IRS just audited the church and they now owe 1.7 million dollars. Punishment for non-payment is jail time, lots of it. So Dave hatches up a scheme to steal the new mainstream craze “Krotchy Dolls” which are so rare and desirable, after having been marketed like crazy and then lost at sea in a bizarre accident, that one sold on eBay for four thousand dollars. If Dude helps him steal the dolls, they’ll split the money they get selling them. The last existing Krotchy dolls, luckily for them, are in nearby “Little Germany” a concentration camp themed amusement park run by Uwe Boll (who plays himself) and entirely funded by gold teeth. Dude swipes a postal van in order to carry all the loot (and justify the title since he in no way “goes Postal” at any time in the film.) and the con is on. However, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, who just happen to be hiding out in the back of a local convenience store, are also planning to steal the Krotchy dolls since they are filled with vials of bird flu and can be used to unleash a terrible destruction on the Great Satan.
“Postal” is so ballsy and unconcerned with playing touchy-feely that you have to admire the sheer joyful fearlessness that went in its making. It pokes fun at black people, celebrities, immigrants, Americans, fat people, Muslims, dwarves, Asians, gun nuts, cops, Germany, September 11th, women, religion, Americans, tragedy, war, the holocaust, death, Americans, children, the mentally challenged, and even at Uwe Boll himself (Wait until you see the scene where he gets attacked by a detractor.) in one long stream of politically incorrect jokes stabbing emotionally charged subjects as if the film thinks it’s Jason from “Friday the 13.”
Or let me put it another way… If Boll had been the Captain of a ship instead of a director, “Postal” would have been the Pequod, he’d have been Ahab, and people’s sensitivity about terrorism and 9/11 would have been the white whale.
The film is not without its flaws. The tone is a bit too goofy at times even for a comedy, and the pacing and set-up isn’t exactly razor sharp. Comedy, like horror, has to be jussst so, and Uwe doesn’t always have a build up to his punch lines. It’s nothing to completely kill the humor, or even hinder it most of the time. I laughed my a*s off, but it’s frustrating because some of this was so golden that it could have been hysterically funny instead of just really funny.
However, far be it from me to damn a film I enjoyed so much. So now I’ll list the good: First and foremost is Dave Foley, who effortlessly gives a great performance as Uncle Dave. I’d thought Foley had gone a little soft since his Kids in the Hall days. But after seeing him here, I’m proud to say he hasn’t mellowed one bit. He’s just awesome in ways that can’t be described without homoerotic overtones.
Then you have Zack Ward who started off as a child actor, and seemed destined to end up in the scary hell of Dannybonaduceland reserved for ginger kids, but instead has always managed to find steady work in varied (if sometimes unmemorable) roles. Ward, as the titular “Dude” shows that he possesses genuine screen presence and some decent comedic timing. “Postal” is hardly the type of film that can be used to judge someone’s acting talent, but Ward handles himself surprisingly well. I dug him in the part, and think that a lot of better known “name” people would have munged the Character up completely.
Finally, there’s Uwe Boll himself who seems to have found his niche with parody/comedy. Sure, it’s like he’s using a shotgun at a rifle range, blowing everything to hell in order to hit a specific target; but he does hit all of his targets. The only thing someone can ask of a film is to accomplish what it set out to do and “Postal” does. On top of that it’s never boring, what else could you want?
Before I end this, I do want to mention one thing about the whole 9/11 and terrorism aspect of the film that have gotten people’s panties in a bunch. Yeah, the movie pokes fun at a sensitive subject in the United States, but it’s gallows humor about death and destruction as opposed to merely using said death and destruction to get a cheap laugh. It’s a subtle, but important difference I think and this should be kept in mind before going into hysterics and accusing Boll of doing something he didn’t do and being the type of person he isn’t.