Inconvenient Truth, An
MPAA Rating: PG
Director Davis Guggenheim presents a lecturementry concerning global warming, with former Vice President Al Gore at the podium. Right off, I will confess that I am not an expert concerning global warming; therefore, I dont want to be glib, nor do I want my mistrust of former politicians with a cause to undermine the films subject matter. So, allow me to simply look at this from the viewpoint of a film critic examining a Hollywood presentation.
Though much of it is well constructed and well paced, with a frightening theme that seems out of H. G. Wells, the film suffers from its dual nature. Is this a documentary about global warming or the retooling of a political dead fish?
Mr. Gore seems both qualified and factual (there are those who disagree with both those adjectives), but, true or false, the subject is undermined by Gores omnipresence. Like the son of Dr. Frankenstein, Mr. Guggenheim believes the monster, or in this case, the politician, has been a misunderstood creature and therefore wants to introduce us to the new, improved Al Gore. But theres just too much Al Gore in this movie. Besides the precisioned scolding and well-rehearsed jabs at naysayers and political opponents, we are subjected to private moments interjected throughout as Mr. Gore thoughtfully stares off into space while narrating his childhood reminisces and life experiences. We are given lots of planetary facts and graphs, but also lots of poignant close-ups of the statue-like politico as he contemplates the fate of our world.
The subject matter would come across more convincingly if the documentarian would have included the voices (and images) of others, and if both filmmaker and star hadnt declared an attack on Republican administrations. Mr. Gore carefully takes aim at Reagan and both Bushes for their neglect of the planet, but manages to overlook his former boss. As I recall, Mr. Clinton was in office for two terms. Thats eight years, folks, without much change in the ecological maintenance of earth.
Mr. Gore says this is not a political issue, but a moral one. He then proceeds to villainize Republicans while polishing his own statue. If you are a Democrat, you may not be put off by Gores partisan politicking; same goes for those simply opposed to any seated administration. But a filmmaker bites himself in the bum whenever his self-serving agenda overrides the issue at hand.
The bottom line of this presentation is the worrisome factor of emissions caused by oil and gasoline. Yet, there is another element, one Mr. Gore neglects as he pops up maps, charts and statistics on a IMAX-sized monitor; the planets condition is inescapably altered by its rapidly growing population. This is not dwelt upon by Mr. Gore.
As I said, I am not an expert, but if the consumption of oil byproducts and the planets population are indeed about to usher in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, then action must be taken, now. That means all you SUV drivers, including those of you who vote for the asses rather than the elephants, must scrap those gas-guzzlers. As for the unabated population growth, about five billion of you need to die, immediately. On behalf of those of us who must stay behind and carry on the noble experiment, I thank you.
Okay, so I got a little glib after all. Not being an expert, I deferred to Megan Basham,
a colleague whose opinion in political and world affairs I respect. She recommended the following sites, which I found thoughtful and provocative:
and Michael Crichtons site at: http://www.crichtonofficial.com/speeches/speeches_quote05.html.
Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Paramount Classics
The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.
Obscene Language: None.
Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None.
Other: The apocalyptic subject matter may be unsuitable for children.
Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature Teens and Adults
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