WITHIN THE FIRST 10 MINUTES of Bobcat Goldthwait's new dark comedy, God Bless America, the main character shoots an infant point blank, showering its screaming mother's face in blood. It's just a fantasy, though—that of Frank (Joel Murray), a disgruntled, lonely man whose nightly channel surfing has rendered him so disgusted with American culture that he's only a few breaking points away from murderous rampage. These come in rapid succession on one very bad, no good day, when Frank gets fired, realizes his brat daughter is everything he hates, and—just to lay it on extra thick—is diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. The next thing we know, Frank's on the road with Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), his improbable teenage sidekick, gleefully murdering anyone that they find rude, stupid, or cruel—from Tea Party protesters to teens using cell phones in a movie theater.
While it's intended to be a liberal's catharsis, once Frank and Roxy are set upon their blood-spewn path, God Bless America follows an unsurprising formula. And as Frank and Roxy's self-righteous quest expands to include victims who take up more than one parking space, it starts to feel more and more like the ravings of a drunken old man. America is basically one long joke borne out across the length of a feature, and it's neither smart or nuanced enough to carry the air of superiority it hinges on.