GOD IS A BULLET Review: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Bloody

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maika Monroe, January Jones and Jamie Foxx star in the action-thriller; Nick Cassavetes directed.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
GOD IS A BULLET Review: Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Bloody

Brutal savagery abounds in a world gone mad.

God Is a Bullet
The film opens June 23, 2023, exclusively in U.S. movie theaters, via Patriot Pictures, Wayward Entertainment and XYZ Films.

Fueled by desperation, buoyed by rage, Bob Hightower (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is hanging on by a thread. His ex-wife and her current husband were slaughtered by a satanic cult on a night in which they abducted Bob's daughter.

Case Hardin (Maika Monroe), who managed to escape from the cult at another time, is also dangling by a thread. She bears the hallmark wounds of a rare survivor; she subsumes the boiling anger that runs through her veins, seeking not revenge, but an end to the damage caused by the cult's unrepentantly evil leader, Cyrus (Karl Glusman).

Bob and Case team up, united only by the fury of the emotions that erupt from the depth of their souls.

Director Nick Cassavetes touched a raw nerve with his gritty crime thriller Alpha Dog (2006), and once again he reaches down into the gutter, creating a symphony composed with blood, a ballet in which the dancers twirl and twist as they explode and are mangled. The violence depicted is always harsh and ugly; this is what happens to a body when it is torn apart by the stabs of a knife or a hail of bullets.

The violence is never gratuitous, though; it's always justified as the only means of survival for the characters. Bob and Case are playing a weird and disturbing pair; at this point they're barely surviving, moving on motor memory. Yet they are relentless in their desire to "save" Bob's daughter, whatever it takes, and whatever that means, by any means necessary.

They have arrived from opposing realms, though. Bob is an officer of the law, keenly aware that he is expected to perform his duties in a legal manner and perfectly willing to do so. To some degree, he is also a religious man. The savage murder of his wife and the kidnapping of his daughter has broken his meek-spirited devotion to both the law and his religious faith. Neither seemed particularly strong; now, however, he has been entirely unmoored and is drifting. Revenge gives him a sense of purpose, some reason to exist.

Case has a stronger personality; she is much more determined to carry out whatever actions are needed to bring an end to the quasi-cult and its leader, whether she survives or not. It's her inner drive that motivates her; she never feels the need to explain herself and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. Both are filled with deep regrets and self-loathing.

As Bob and Case, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Maika Monroe capture the personalities of characters who are often as scary to watch as anyone else on screen. Their shared intensity starts high and kicks quickly into overdrive, which animates the film past the breaking point.

It's not easy to watch God Is a Bullet, which Nick Cassavetes adapted from a novel by Boston Teran. It's an unflinching depiction of desperation and feels like a punch in the gut, over and over and over again.

(Full disclosure: Screen Anarchy is owned by XYZ Films.)

God Is A Bullet

  • Nick Cassavetes
  • Nick Cassavetes
  • Boston Teran
  • Maika Monroe
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
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Jamie FoxxJanuary JonesKarl GlusmanMaika MonroeNick CassavetesNikolaj Coster-WaldauBoston TeranActionCrimeHorror

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