There are those who say Michael Moore is a bad person. They'll say he's unpatriotic. That he's slovenly and loud. There are also those who say the complete opposite; that he is saintly and wonderful and hang onto every word he says. This film fits into the same category as his previous Bowling for Columbine which brings to the screen things that may not provide comfortable viewing.
It's not the kind of film you'd expect a comedian to make. It does point out the connections between the Bush administration, his cronies, Oil, the Bin Laden Family, and Fat Stacks of Cash. I was able to follow things like that because Jello Biafra had introduced me to such ideas in his spoken word tour last November. And the crowd he drew was more than partially full of idiots. There were only one or two such idiots in the cinema who decided to make their feeling more vocal. But I was only paying to see one whiner, and he was on the screen...
The film does progress in an easy to follow manner. And he does illustrate how "the money" filters through from one end to the other, and whose hands it graces on its merry travels. There are sequences of the film that show a whole bunch of Dubya clips in and out of context, so as best to make him look like an idiot. Not a difficult task, really.
Out of context or no, the fact remains that George W Bush is, to his frail reeking core, an idiot. He'd still be an idiot if Moore made no films at all. This is beside the point. The point is, after 9-11, there was a lot of covering up and delaying of investigations. This film seeks out the possible reasons behind such things.
This film does also show a lot of uncomfortable footage of wounded children, mourning families and general unpleasantness that some people would probably prefer not to see. If you're squeamish, or have no interest in what's going on in the spaces that aren't occupied by you, then avoid this film.
The current paradigm seems to be that if you like Michael Moore, you're treasonous. Yet if you disagree with a little of what he says, then you're pro-Bush. There seems to be no middle ground. This film is one man's interpretation of another. His facts carry water. What he is doing, is admirable - bringing to the attention of the ignorant (people in general) a summary of the status quo. What he fails to do is provide a solution. Although I'm sure in the part of people's brains, the part phrenologists would describe as "the lone-nut psycho" areas would yield images of magic bullet quickfixes. At present, the wrong people are dead.
Reviewed on Saturday, 24 July 2004