"This is not a political issue; this is a moral issue."
Al Gore's words have been repeated many, many times since the release of his documentary An Inconvenient Truth. But Mr. Gore, no matter what you want to make yourself believe or make other people believe, it is most definitely a political issue.
If this movie had been about a little known scientist traveling around the globe spreading his message about Global Warming, then I might be convinced that it's not a political issue. Alas, the existence or non-existece of Global Warming is not argued over Bunsen burners and test tubes, it's argued over podiums and in well-furnished offices while the press corps watches with bated breath.
I say all this because unlike any other film I've reviewed, I cannot convince nor deter anyone from seeing An Inconvenient Truth simply by talking about it. This movie is so fully political that you will only see it if you support it. Well...unless you want to watch it so you can alternately laugh or yell at the screen. But this blog isn't for political talk, it's for movie talk, and no matter how politically minded I may be, I would like to keep my politics out of my movies, thank you very much.
So, on a completely theatrical standpoint, An Inconvenient Truth is like a dramatic Power Point presentation. There are pretty pictures and interesting graphics along with perfectly placed graphs all serving as a backdrop to Al Gore, with his slight Tennessee drawl, explain his message and the passion he has for spreading it. It's not boring, as most would think when listening to Mr. Gore speak for 90 minutes; although, it's not all that spectacular either.
The purpose of the film is not to only get out Gore's message but to also tell the story of man who wants to get out his message. At certain points, the film takes a detour from Global Warming and spends time in Gore's personal life. We learn about the near fatal accident one of his children experienced. We learn about him growing up in Carthage, Tenn. as well as in Washington, D.C. Director Davis Guggenheim does a decent job of observing Gore while he travels from city to city with his presentation. Nothing seems staged (besides the presentation of course), and I never feel like the film is beating me over the head. Seriously, I'm not kidding. I never once felt Guggenheim took a side on this issue; I really felt he was just showing us a journey. And for that, I'll give An Inconvenient Truth a luke warm 3 out of 5 stars.
AN AUTHOR'S NOTE:
Just so everyone is clear, my review of An Inconvenient Truth has nothing to do with how I feel about the subject matter. I know that most people who support Gore give the movie high marks while those who don't support him give the movie low marks. DO NOT LUMP ME IN WITH THOSE PEOPLE. I created this blog because I wanted to review films for their theatrical value. If I review the subject matter of every documentary I watch without commenting on the presentation, that wouldn't be a review of the value of the film, would it? I voted for Al Gore in 2000, but that doesn't have any effect on how I feel about the production of this film. Thank you for your time and attention.