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'FDR American Badass!' DVD Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

By

FDR: American Badass © Screen Media

The Bottom Line

A fun, fast-paced, unapologetically silly horror-comedy whose jokes hit more than they miss.
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Pros

  • Great cast
  • Good sense of humor
  • Infectious absurdist energy

Cons

  • A bit of a one-trick pony
  • Thin story

Description

  • Starring Barry Bostwick, Bruce McGill, Ray Wise, William Mapother, Lin Shaye, Paul Ben-Victor, Deon Richmon, Ross Patterson, Keri Lynn Pratt
  • Directed by Garrett Brawith
  • Rated R
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012

Guide Review - 'FDR American Badass!' DVD Review

What wasn't taught to us in textbooks is that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, womanizing bad ass who used remarkably ahead-of-his-time slang like "good lookin' out" and "for reals." Even more obscure: while serving as governor of New York, he contracted polio from a werewolf bite. Oh, and the Axis leaders in World War II -- Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito -- were also werewolves who hatched a plan to infect American alcohol supplies with a werewolf virus. Luckily, Albert Einstein, acting like FDR's version of James Bond's Q, helped slap together a mechanized, fully loaded, armed-to-the-teeth wheelchair for the president to use in front-line combat. No wonder I flunked AP History.

Unlike the overly serious Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, FDR: American Badass buys fully into the ridiculousness of its concept and delivers a non-stop barrage of low-brow humor: scatological, titillating and decidedly un-PC. It's less a Airplane-like spoof than it is a teen-skewed sex and stoner comedy, like Harold and Kumar with 60-year-old politicians. Despite the werewolf angle, the horror aspect takes a backseat to the absurdist comedy, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but even the steeliest of jaws should find cause for a guffaw or two.

The ongoing joke of FDR's bad ass demeanor threatens to wear thin here and there, but what seems like it should be a Funny or Die short amazingly remains fresh and funny through an entire feature film -- thanks to some inspiringly stupid (in all the right ways) dialogue and a wonderful cast of veteran character actors (Bruce McGill, Ray Wise, William Mapother, Lin Shaye, Paul Ben-Victor, Deon Richmond) whose faces you probably know better than their names. Carrying the movie, though, is Barry Bostwick in the titular role, giving perhaps more effort than the material deserves while delivering a pitch-perfect comedic performance that will leave a smile on your face even if you're not sure what the heck is going on.

The DVD

No special features.

Movie: B-
DVD: F

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the distributor. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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