16th May2015

‘American Rescue Squad’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Tony D. Czech, Douglas Sidney, KariAnn Craig, Roger Wayne, Anjel White, Anika Reitman, Jimmy Keebs, David Otto Simanek, Jarrod Crooks | Written by Elliot and Adam Diviney | Directed by Elliot Diviney

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A group of mysterious villains known as “The Alliance” sets a trap for the Taxpayer. They imprison him, torture him, and make plans to publicly crucify him. Local janitor Richard Randolph rounds up retired Superheroes, and hatches a plan to rescue the Taxpayer. The villains stage a public rally, where many citizens come to watch the Taxpayer’s crucifixion. The heroes invade the bad guy lair, and a large battle ensues. Various comedic and action-packed musical numbers are intertwined throughout the madness. In the midst of the big political debate and battle for mankind will the heroes save the day?

If, like me, you’ve just read that official synopsis and thought “what the F**k?”, then you’re not alone. A bizarre diatribe on American politics, American Rescue Squad is a Team America: World Police wanna be satire (the filmmakers even go as far as to thank “Matt and Trey” for being their inspiration) that does nothing but show just how NOT to create a political satire! Opening with a bullshit history of the US, from the war with the British through the civil war and beyond, scattered with the type of low-rent comedy and inaccuracies that will no doubt inspire a bunch of moronic Americans to believe it is the truth, this movie screams ineptitude from the get-go.

Apparently, at least according to the script for American Resuce Squad all you need to create a political satire is a bunch of superheroes with satirical names – The Taxpayer, Common-Sense and Personal Responsibility – and to use said names in “funny” sentences. “We need to rely on The Taxpayer”, “What about Common-Sense?” – you get the drift. It might be funny (for some) the first time they’re used in that context, but by the nth time? Not so much… Even less so when the evil league of villains they face are lumbered with the same type of names – Bad Dad, Bible Thumper, Undocumented American etc. (a character who also gets what has to be one of the most offensive and unfunny musical numbers/montages this side of South Park)

I get that Elliot and Adam Diviney were trying to create something as funny, offensive and over-the-top as the works of Matt Stone and Trey Parker but at least those guys know how to be funny and, more importantly, when to make subtle jokes. TheĀ  laboured way jokes in American Rescue Squad are presented means they often fall flat, the musical numbers are amateur hour and the film is not half as clever as it thinks it. Kudos to the Diviney’s for giving it a go but next time maybe go for something a little more subtle – being bashed over the head with satire this much is bound to give anyone a headache.

American Rescue Squad is released on DVD in the US on May 19th.

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