Review: ‘God Is D_ad’

Aiming for pop-culture nostalgia, pic's period detail suffers from budgetary limits.

The third feature from erstwhile Robert Altman protege Abraham Lim, ensembler “God Is D_ad” follows an RV of young adults headed for a Comic-Con-type conference in 1987. Aiming for pop-culture nostalgia, pic’s period detail suffers from budgetary limits, as do the Korea-shot fantasy sequences. But a bigger problem is that writer-director Lim’s characters and their dynamics aren’t developed enough to fully engage, unlike those in his playful prior “The Achievers.” This watchable but unmemorable seriocomedy looks destined for minor home-format play.

Comics store clerk and “Dungeons & Dragons” geek Tim (Cy Shim) dreams of winning an original game design contest with long-suffering illustrator Bob (Derek Hicks). To cut costs on the drive from Kansas to a Chicago conference, they take on several passengers: “ex-gay” evangelical Christian Alex (Brett Emanuel), surly punkette Meredith (Lauren Mayer) and stammering, seizure-prone Lindy (Elvis Garcia). Various road travails, fights and eventual bonding ensue, interspersed with sepia glimpses of Tim’s Korean-language fantasy world, which Bob too aptly calls “totally boring.” In contrast to “Achievers’?” anarchic wit, “God” is too often humorless, with some ponderous dialogue and not enough character depth despite able perfs and packaging.

God Is D_ad

U.S.-South Korea

Production

A Lincoln Log Films production. Produced by Abraham Lim, Kate Hong. Directed, written, edited by Abraham Lim.

Crew

Camera (color), Lim, Tae Yong Han; music, Marshall Crenshaw, Redeyedrove, Alex Bang; production designer, Min Ah Lee. Reviewed at San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival (competing), March 17, 2010. (Also in Cinequest Film Festival.) English, Korean dialogue. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Cy Shim, Derek Hicks, Lauren Mayer, Elvis Garcia, Brett Emanuel, Joon Hyun Cho, Carlo Corbellini, Yong Jun lee, Ji Hwan Park, Yoo Jin Choi, Tae Gu Eom, Seong Oh Kim.

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