Postal (2007) (part 2 of 2)
In the meantime, back at the compound, Uncle Dave wants to steal the exact same shipment of Krotchy Dolls that the Taliban guys want, and sell them online at “StuffExchangedForMoney.com” for an outlandish markup. The dude leaves to find a suitable truck in which to haul away the stolen dolls.
Along the way, he stops at the very same convenience store where the Taliban is hiding. Outside, a guy in a suit stands on a soapbox and says things like “George W. Bush isn’t the president, he’s an actor,” and “the moon landings were faked.” So one of the Taliban guys uses an explosive vest to blow the guy up. This humble recapper must confess that he doesn’t yet get what Dr. Boll is doing in this scene. I’m sure there’s razor-sharp satiric criticism of something going on, but I’m still trying to tease it out after multiple viewings. That’s why Boll has a doctorate and I don’t, I guess.
The dude sees the ideal truck in a fenced off parking lot. If the previous scene’s symbolism eludes me (for the moment!), this part I get. See, the dude could easily scale the six-foot chain link fence by himself. Instead, he uses a paraplegic beggar as a step-stool to climb the fence. Don’t you get it? I mean, really get it? Only by standing on the shoulders of our brothers can the downtrodden of this world overcome the obstacles placed in their way by the evil cabal of American corporations. Clearly.
Having struck this blow against bourgeoisie sensibilities, and with the truck secured, the dude heads back to Uncle Dave’s compound, where they continue to plan their theft of the Krotchy Dolls. At the same time, the Taliban is also planning their theft of the dolls. During their meeting, President George W. Bush calls Sammy on the phone, and asks him to blow up a pipeline in Saudi Arabia, so that his dad can collect the insurance money.
In Swift’s original novel, the Crotche Dolls were being sold at Piccadilly Circus, but in this telling, the Krotchy Dolls are to be sold at Paradise City’s world famous theme park, Little Germany. On hand for the occasion is the international superstar that provided the voice for the Krotchy Dolls: Verne Troyer, last seen on this site in The Love Guru, which as we all know was adapted from Proust.
A few establishing scenes of Little Germany further demonstrate the extent to which Dr. Boll knows humor. He has an innate, God-given talent for very funny images, all while staying well within the bounds of good taste.
Much like his spiritual predecessor Alfred Hitchcock, Dr. Boll appears in small cameo roles in all of his films. In Postal, he plays himself, as the owner of Little Germany. He’s being interviewed on live TV before the Krotchy Dolls are put up for sale. In this interview, Dr. Boll confirms that his movies are indeed financed with Nazi gold, and that he gets a little horny when he’s up on stage in front of all the children.
The dude and Uncle Dave, along with Dave’s blonde bimbos, arrive at Little Germany to put their plan into action. In order to effectively infiltrate the theme park, they’re all dressed like Hitler.
The dude, et al., manage to distract the security guards and steal the boxes of Krotchy Dolls. Meanwhile, further subtle humor ensues when Boll pays Verne Troyer for his appearance with the gold teeth of concentration camp victims.
The Taliban arrive at Little Germany as well, but they’re too late. The Krotchy Dolls are already gone. The Taliban pursue the dude and Uncle Dave right to the central square, where Dr. Boll and Troyer are warming up the crowd. Just as they’re arriving, the man in the life-sized Krotchy Doll takes off his (costume) head, and what do you know? It’s Jonathan Swift! Of course, it’s only an impersonator, but the actor (some geek named Vince Desi, with no other film or TV work to his name) really nails the part. In a bit of self-referential drama, Swift is angry with Boll for changing the setting of Postal from England to Arizona. Swift attacks Boll, and eventually a gunfight breaks out.
During the melee, Uncle Dave’s assistant Richard stuffs Verne Troyer into a suitcase and absconds with him. Troyer curses up a storm, which is absolutely hilarious, because he’s soooo tiny and such behavior is soooo totally unlike him.
The dude and his crew manage to escape, but they’re now being hunted by the Taliban and the police, who mistakenly blame the dude for the carnage at Little Germany. They head for a bunker underneath Uncle Dave’s compound, which was apparently built just in case of the apocalypse.
Unfortunately, the Taliban somehow know that the dude is on the way to the compound, and they arrive there first. By the time the dude and Uncle Dave get there, the Taliban are already ransacking the place. Luckily, the Taliban don’t know about the bunker, so the dude decides that they’ll all sneak in.
The dude crawls into the building, seeing only one Taliban between him and the bunker. Not wanting to alert the rest of the terrorists, the dude needs a way to dispatch this one, quietly. Showing great inventiveness, the dude jams a cat onto the end of his gun and uses it as a silencer. “Meowmph,” it goes. Cats were used in such a manner in Swift’s original work as well, but there the kitties did not survive. But Dr. Boll, friend of animals as well as film, updates this for modern sensibilities: The cat survives, unharmed.
In the bunker, the universe again conspires against the dude, as Uncle Dave’s assistant Richard (known as Dicke in Swift’s novel) shows his true colors. He’s convinced that the apocalypse in the cult’s bible is now coming true. Uncle Dave points out that he himself wrote the cult’s bible, but Richard refuses to listen, so convinced is he that the prophecies are coming true.
Richard is also interested in the Krotchy Dolls for their vials of avian flu, just like the Taliban. However, Richard wants to use the dolls to spread the virus to the entire world, not just America. Uncle Dave says that he wrote these prophecies, and they’re a sham, so Richard kills him.
The other prophecy Richard helps fulfill is this:
Richard locks the dude in a room, and then leaves to get the truck of Krotchy Dolls. The dude escapes, and using all the guns and explosives from the bunker, he manages to kill almost all the Taliban in the compound.
The dude then goes to find the truck of Krotchy Dolls, planning to blow it up and destroy the flu virus. On the way, he’s cornered by a mob of armed citizens. They chase him, guns blazing, into a dead-end alley, so he breaks out a machine gun and mows them all down.
After the mob has been dispatched, the dude runs into the cute barista he met earlier at the coffee shop. She’s also armed, and for various subtle reasons that escape this recapper, the barista decides to help him destroy the Krotchy Dolls.
The dude and the barista head back to the dude’s trailer, which becomes the setting for this film’s inspired conclusion. Inside the trailer, the dude’s bitch is having yet another extramarital fling, this time with the two police officers we met earlier. I have to say, while the dude’s bitch’s actions are unconscionable, rarely has the physical act of love been so tenderly captured on film.
The dude and the barista arrive at the dude’s trailer, where they park the truck of flu-laced Krotchy Dolls. The dude puts a remote-controlled bomb on the trailer’s propane tank, and they prepare to leave.
Before they can make their escape, however, dozens more armed citizens show up, intent on gunning the dude down. The Taliban shows up, too, as does Richard. They all open fire on the dude and the barista, who hunker down behind a car. The dude and the barista manage to pick off a few of their attackers, but the car they’re hiding behind gets slowly reduced to scrap metal.
The dude attempts to talk some sense into the crowd. Despite his heartfelt speech, however, the citizens, Taliban, and Richard are unconvinced. They open fire again, further destroying the dude’s cover.
The dude and the barista have finally had enough, and they go, well, “postal”. As they mow down everyone else in the trailer park, Sammy sneaks off to call President Bush. Bush, using the GPS-enabled computer in his tricked-out presidential golf cart, promises to send a helicopter to pick him up.
Having blasted just about every living thing in the trailer park, the dude and the barista hop in a shelled out police car and scram. As they drive away, the radio interrupts regular programming with an announcement from President Bush: the CIA pinned responsibility for the carnage in Paradise City on the Chinese and Indian governments, and so Bush destroyed both countries with “nucular” force.
Unfortunately, the Chinese managed to fire off a few ICBMs before they were hit, and the warheads are currently inbound.
The dude says, “I regret nothing,” and flicks the detonator switch for the bomb attached to his trailer’s propane tank. The dude’s bitch and the two policemen in the trailer try to flee, but the dude’s bitch can’t fit through the door (a subtle commentary on America’s obesity epidemic), and so they all die in the bomb blast.
The dude and the barista drive away as pieces of the trailer—and its occupants—rain down on the street.
Then, in a final, stunningly beautiful and yet bitingly satiric scene, Sammy and Bush skip hand in hand through a field, while the Chinese MIRVs streak down around them.
Postal ends with the apocalypse, although not the one Richard had hoped to provoke with the Krotchy Dolls. Sammy and Bush skip off, not into the sunset, but into the artificial suns created by the Chinese nukes. A-R-T, baby.
After sitting through Postal one last time in order to finish up this recap, my mind wandered back to that fateful day in 2008 at the megaplex. I’m reminded of the silence of the audience, exhausted but ecstatic; worn out but wiser. Now, as then, I blink back tears, contemplating this film. It’s as if I’ve spent ages in the company of Dr. Boll, and he’s taught me so very much about life. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you, Dr. Boll!
Given all the awards Dr. Boll has (rightfully) been nominated for, I look forward to the upcoming “victory lap” of Postal when it returns triumphantly to theaters. I may have to drive 120 miles to see it, but I will see it, at an IMAX theater this time. In 3-D.
Stay tuned for more Razzie Contenders, coming soon! And check out the other recaps in this series: The Love Guru by Ed Harris, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale by Ryan Lohner, 10,000 B.C. by Jessica Ritchey, The Hottie & the Nottie by Albert, The Day the Earth Stood Still by Mark “Scooter” Wilson!