Overview: A corrupt yet incredibly popular and handsome senator (William Shatner) is planning to blow up America by joining the IRA or something like that. With no help from some busybody FBI agents, his former campaign manager (Jeff Speakman) kickpunches his way through a gauntlet of exploding vehicles to heroically save the day by blowing up Shatner's house.
Directed By: Jerry Jameson, 1998
The Case For: If you're a Republican congressional staffer looking to gin up your base about wasteful government spending, this is a great movie for a fundraiser. The FBI guys who are supposedly in charge of exposing the evil corrupt senator basically get some poor shmuck to do 100% of their jobs for them while they kick back with a couple of beers and watch it unfold on the news.
The Case Against: William Shatner's divine hamminess won't keep you from passing out from concussive shock caused by your home theater system after the 3000th exploding flying station wagon zooms past.
Hydrogen: I have to say, I never dreamed that we would actually be reviewing a William Shatner movie here. That man's scenery-chewing enthusiasm automatically elevates even the most dismal train wreck of a movie well above the entertainment level that we're allowed to experience.
Trillaphon: If the Shat Man was actually the star of this picture, I guarantee we wouldn't even be talking about it right now. But Land of the Free manages to bury even the captain himself under a suffocating wall-to-wall carpet of nut punching, winnebago exploding, station wagon flipping, madness inducing, dog lynching action. Did I mention dog lynching? Because there's most definitely one of those:
Hydrogen: Land of the Free my ass. Nobody lynches man's best friend in my OBomberman's America.
Trillaphon: I feel like the producers of this movie should have to pay out some huge amount of doggy reparations after that shit, like just dumping multiple caravan truckloads of beggin' strips and snausages on every street corner or becoming sniffable ass/humpable leg furniture for the rest of their evil, dog-hating lives.
Trillaphon: It doesn't help that it's the fakest dog anyone has ever seen in the history of ever. Or maybe it does? I don't know what to feel anymore. I'll never care about anything again.
Hydrogen: Anyway, the real problem with Land of the Free is that most of the potential Shatner scenery-gnoshing time is hogged by Jeff Speakman, a.k.a. yet another narcissistic martial artist turned unwanted '90s B-movie action hero. His signature move of punching and/or kicking everyone he meets in the junk tells us probably all we need to know about whatever martial art it is he supposedly studied in his living room with no shirt on for all those years.
Trillaphon: He can use all the nut shots he wants, he's still a more honorable ninja fighter than that asshole who somersaulted everywhere and accidentally murdered his opponents.
Hydrogen: I'll give you that one. He also arguably gets more results since he doesn't spend all his time frolicking in the woods and getting beat up by Klansmen. What martial art did that guy study, again?
Trillaphon: Pretty sure it was "beard-soo do", or maybe "depressed armadillo style".
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
It's just a little confusing, is all.
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