You say a thinly-veiled fictionalization of the Columbine massacre. I say directed by Uwe Boll (He'll make four movies based on video games from 2003 to 2006.)
You say after-school special production values with a heavy metal soundtrack. I say haven't we seen this movie a few times now?
Featuring the one-two punch of Jürgen Prochnow and Michael Paré (the former's a principal, the latter's a teacher, the audience ain't buying either), Heart of America dutifully chronicles the bullying of a pair of local losers, then proceeds to a 10-minute mini-bloodbath as they enact their vengeance.
Here's the problem: The bullies are so transparently awful and pasty-faced bland that we automatically side with the killers right from the start. Our villains aren't much worse, in the end, even though things don't really go according to plan and a few innocents get capped. Subplots are so obvious (teen pregnancy, goodie two-shoes) that each of them has been the subject of his or her own awful movie. Ultimately, all of this doesn't amount to much. The plot is obvious and uninspiring, and Boll's pacing is all wrong: He never builds the slightest amount of suspense leading up to shootings; instead he tries to instill panic by bookending the film with voice-overs announcing statistics about how dangerous public schools are and how many teenagers kill other teenagers there.
Boll is -- by all accounts -- wholly clueless behind both the camera and the computer (he has a story credit here). But I will say this: Heart of America is categorically and undisputably the absolute best film Uwe Boll has ever made. Congrats, dude.
Run time: 87 mins
In Theaters: Thursday 13th February 2003
Distributed by: MTI Home Video
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
IMDB: 4.1 / 10
Director: Uwe Boll
Producer: Shawn Williamson
Screenwriter: Robert Dean Klein
Starring: Jürgen Prochnow as Harold Lewis, Michael Paré as Will Prat, Patrick Muldoon as Ryan Kirkland, Kett Turton as Daniel Lynne, Elisabeth Moss as Robin Walters, María Conchita Alonso as Mrs. Jones, Lesley Ewen as Ms. Weinberg
Also starring: Jurgen Prochnow, Michael Pare, Maria Conchita Alonso, Clint Howard, Brendan Fletcher, Lochlyn Munro, Maeve Quinlan, Elisabeth Rosen, Will Sanderson, Kevin Mundy, Michael Belyea, Stefanie MacGillivray, Alex Rae, Shawn Williamson, Robert Dean Klein