It’s easy to make fun of Uwe Boll. His movies suck, he seems to have a limitless supply of video games to make into movies, and heck, why not add this to the argument: he’s unapologetically German. But while I could probably just say Postal sucks without even watching the movie as Boll’s name precedes his films, that wouldn’t be surprising. What is surprising, though, is that Postal isn’t really all that bad. In fact, I’d go the length to say that it’s actually pretty good. So good, in fact, that I’d actually suggest that you watch it.
Uwe Boll is already fast on track to being the physical successor to the worst director of all time, Ed Wood. His movies are almost offensively bad, with House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and, God Almighty, Bloodrayne, acting as new gold standards in terms of garbage cinema. The fact that he’s so oblivious to his atrocities is further proof that his claiming of the throne from Ed Wood should definitely be forthcoming. Be that as it may, though, you can’t deny that there’s a certain charm to his work that makes you smile just a little, even if it’s at how bad his movies are. Whether it be the over the top acting, pointless panty shots, or surprising big wig actors starring in his films, there’s just something about Uwe’s movies that illicit some kind of response, whether it be good or bad.
And while I can’t completely condone head-honcho Josh Tyler’s acceptance of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale as a decent movie, I will say that it had a grand spirit to it that showed that Uwe was at least trying to be a good director, which you have to respect from a man who’s pretty much made his entire career on video game translations. Postal, his latest effort, is an even greater step forward for Uwe Boll--one that shows at least a modicum of growth from a director that so many critics have crapped on.
If you’ve never played the game Postal before, don’t worry about it. All you need to know is that one man gets his buttons pushed all the wrong ways and he eventually goes berserk with bullets, hence the title of going postal. But Uwe’s take on the game goes way beyond that plot and surprisingly turns into a satirical tale of everything from terrorism, racism, and even Boll’s entire career as a director, making for some legitimate laughs this time around, rather than just laughs at how funny Ben Kingsley looks as a vampire.
The film stars Zack Ward as a guy simply known as the “postal dude,” but the movie doesn’t start with the main character. Instead, it starts with two terrorists piloting a hijacked 9/11 plane that eventually crash lands into the twin towers. The two terrorists are debating over how many virgins they’ll be rewarded in Heaven for getting the job done, and they call up Osama (Yes, that Osama) upset that they were promised more virgins than they’re actually getting. Obviously, this kind of humor is going to offend both Muslims and Americans who lost anybody in 9/11 at the same time.
Still, I don’t think the scene is nearly as bad as it sounds on paper. Sure, it’s offensive, and it’s meant to be, but there’s a certain charm to how brazenly politically incorrect Uwe is. Obviously, he’s willing to push a lot of envelopes into the Hollywood mailbox because he knows that hardly anybody’s watching, and for those who are, at least he can drop a few jaws in the process. Of course, the film falls apart when it comes to the actual plot, but who cares? The story that is told is good enough to balance out all the jokes stuffed in there, so it’s not a complete failure in the slightest like many of Boll’s other creations. Written partially by Uwe himself, you begin to realize that he probably just padded the slapdash story in for good measure, as his criticism of modern day Bush America is what he really wanted to show in the movie.
As mentioned before, the story is centered on this “postal dude,” who can’t seem to get a break. His morbidly obese wife sleeps around with everybody in the trailer park, he can’t get a decent job that doesn’t involve selling his soul, and his get rich quick scheming Uncle Dave (Dave Foley), who runs a cult-like empire, wants him to break the law just so he can get out of financial debt. It’s the eventual failure of Uncle Dave’s plan to pilfer a new hot toy on the market called a Krotchy doll shaped like a penis (get it? Krotchy? Ha!) to sell on the black market that ultimately leads to the “postal dude,” well, going postal.
But forget all that. Between the director playing himself as a sausage eating Nazi apologist, to little kids being the only accidental victims in a gun battle scene, to even the wacky conclusion of Bush and Bid Laden skipping through a field holding hands, Boll’s satirical message movie isn’t half as bad as you’d expect it to be.
Uwe Boll may never reach Ed Wood status at this rate. Postal isn’t the greatest movie in the world, but at least it’s definitely better than Plan 9 From Outer Space.
Even better than watching Postal is actually listening to the director talk about his movie on the hilarious commentary, which involves lengthy discussions on everything from people in Hollywood being “pussies,” for not distributing his movies, to how people need to be more open minded about watching his films. If they’re not open-minded, Uwe refers to them as “retards.” Love him or loathe him, you can’t say that Uwe doesn’t have a pair of brass balls on him.
The rest of the special features aren’t nearly as great as the angry commentary, where Uwe pretty much says that the Jihad can come after him personally if they don’t like his portrayal of them. He’s not afraid of them. He even admits it openly and tells them to bring it on.
Perhaps, a boxing match with some of the Jihad members can be arranged for the release of his next DVD, as this one features him fighting a few of his harshest critics in a boxing match. Entitled, “Raging Boll--Director boxes his critics” (How clever), Uwe squares off against puny critics of his who don’t have a chance against the supposedly former boxer. He demolishes all of them with either a knock down or without being hit a single time, his dodging and weaving minimal for these out-of-shape journalists.
If anything, watching him bat around these flies is at least enjoyable for a little while, and I have to tell you, it’s a relief to know that Uwe takes out his aggression in a physical manner, which is exactly what you’d expect from a man who has made a career on adapting video games into movies. He’s still kept that Punch-Out!! persona alive, which pretty much legitimizes everything he’s done as a director thus far. In other words, at least he puts his fists where his films are, which is refreshing to see--sort of in a rough, Hemingway sort of manlihood that hasn’t been around for a long time.
“A Day in Little Germany,” doesn’t succeed as well, though. Basically just showing shots of the day on set at the gas chamber and Hitler adorned faux amusement park in the movie, it seems like this special feature could have been ramped up a bit to really delve deeper into how they could possibly get away with such a scene in this day and age.
And the “Verne Troyer as Indiana Jones” feature is just annoying. Coincidently, Uwe Boll pushed to make it so his movie would come out on the same exact day as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and this feature is just featuring Troyer calling Indy out , claiming that Postal is in fact better than The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Really, after seeing both pictures, I tend to agree with Troyer on this one. I mean, at least Postal doesn’t have Shia LaBeouf swinging from vines like Tarzan. Overall, I liked Postal, and I don’t care what anybody thinks, so there. It’s clearly Boll’s best work to date, and the special features only add to that fact.