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Film Review: American Rescue Squad (2015)

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SYNOPSIS:

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?

REVIEW:

I’m gonna be honest – I had to make three attempts to watch this thing. The first time I turned it off after 15 minutes. The second time I made it maybe halfway through. The third and final attempt is when I was determined to watch this cursed thing and review it like I am supposed to do.

I will also tell you that it was a hella chore to make myself sit through it. It really, really was. And the big giant watermark that was over the top of the entire screener….incredibly annoying. Hopefully, if you actually purchase this film, that will be gone.

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The title card dedicates this film to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, whose film TEAM AMERICA:WORLD POLICE I am assuming was the inspiration for this thing.

Our story opens with the government calling on The Taxpayer (Jimmy Keebs), an overworked superhero. The government needs his help to defeat Bad Dad (Jarrod Crooks), who has knocked up a Hispanic girl with no money for an abortion. Too bad she is already 8 months on. Oh, and it’s a trap for The Taxpayer.

Our villains, The Alliance, are The Bible Thumper (David Otto Simanak), Leah Lush (KariAnn Craig), The Freeloader (Matt Tobin), The Immigrant (Savvy Anavkar),and Bad Dad. They are led by presidential hopeful Dick Panzy (Douglas Sidney). Their plan is to rule the world by infecting the populace using the Arrogance and Ignorance Orbs.

The poor Taxpayer is held hostage as a parade of special interests demand money from him and beat him up whether he gives it or not. The Alliance has announced that on November third, the Taxpayer will be executed on live TV.

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With no where left to turn, the government is forced to call upon retired superheroes Common Sense(Roger Wayne) and Personal Responsibility (Anjel White) to save The Taxpayer. It is up to the janitor, Richard Randolph (Tony D. Czech) to convince the heroes to come out of seclusion and save the day. They travel together to pick up Birth Control (Anika Reitman), who is serving time in prison for handing out condoms at a university.

oh and did I mention this is a musical? Like Schoolhouse Rock on acid, the film teaches us the evils of society and politics through song and dance. The musical numbers aren’t bad, Although I would have appreciated a more completed score, as some of the backing tracks sound synthesized like they were done in midi. The lyrics are well written, though, and I must mention a specific song which is a rap song performed near the finale.

In the end, each hero must face their nemesis – common sense vs religious fervor. Personal responsibility vs the slacker. Birth control vs irresponsibility. but what role does the everyman play in the final outcome?

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It’s hard to tell if this is right wing propaganda or a parody of the entire “politically correct” thought process. I went back and forth from being really offended to highly amused. Seems no one is safe in this scathing commentary on society. Both sides of the fence, and even those in the middle, each take a hit at some point in the film. I think perhaps that was the whole point – that the film mocks the entire process of separatism in society and government. Seriously, nothing is sacred in this film. It has something to offend everybody, and that takes some doing.

The bastard child of Doctor Horrible and South Park with shades of Peter Pan. As superficial as the characters appear, there is a depth to the story that can’t be ignored. Once I made myself get past my own offense, and was able to watch it with a more critical mind, there is something to be said for this film, and it has something to say. What that message is, however, is up to the viewer.

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for me, it is a story of how one must embrace common sense and personal responsibility in order to achieve their life goals. If one allows religion, or government, or big business, to have too much influence on our lives, then we have no one to blame but ourselves for allowing whatever comes of that. It is an allegory, a parable if you will, of what our society has become.

and yes sit through the credits. there is a button.

So on a scale of one to ten, ten being awesome, I’m giving this film 8 hanging chads.

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