I must admit that I like Michael Moore. If you have looked at this Blog’s origins you can probably tell this. I try my best to not discuss political leanings and in this case I will try and keep it to a minimum…though with difficulty. I have enjoyed pretty much all of his documentaries but two: Capitalism A love story due to it being sloppy and Slacker Uprising for being boring. Suffice to say as these were the last two entries in his documentary features I was a tad Leary about this one. I do really like his other work, however, with from all of his other documentaries to his TV series his fun tongue and cheek approach is a great one for entertainment and absorbing information.
This movie starts off by putting out the point that our Military uses too much of our country’s budget and his solution is to withdraw our troops and he himself will go on a journey of Conquest for America. During this documentary Michael Moore sets out to different countries in the European and Middle Eastern areas looking at different parts of their systems that function well and then he plans on planting out flag and taking the info back to the United States for implementation.
Michael Moore was in good form with this documentary. He had a stable narrative and it worked without him using the same old gimmicks that he had used in the past. He wasn’t harassing people, he wasn’t pulling odd and garish stunts it was just straight up narrative. His examples were compelling and in truth the point came through well. I mean when I was done I couldn’t help but feel like we were much less of a country than those shown. Are we the savages? This is the question that I was meant to ask myself in the end. It turns standard things that we all think we know and turns it on its head, such as the concept that all majority Muslim countries cannot be secular. Michael Moore is also good at using humor and his innate charm. This packaged together with nice scenic shots and cultural exposure make this a good film overall to watch. If you watch this film the right way you can actually see not only the greatness of the founding ideas of the United Stated but a message of optimism for the future.
Of course let’s get to the points that make a Michael Moore film harder to watch. If you are a “Conservative” you will not like this film as it goes over concepts related more to socialism and at times bends the facts to get there. Michael Moore is like a bull charging forward and never looking back. He grabs an idea showing you the good points then runs past before fully fleshing them out. A good example in this case would be Finland where he reported on the school system being the finest in the world, it also is high on the world bar in unemployment and suicide. I feel that the analysis is one that only touches the surface that there is no depth there and this can be an issue. There is also that almost anti-American sentiment to this if you cannot tilt your head in the right direction to see it just right (and you won’t if you are of the ideology above). This film is not for everyone and because of the narrative itself it is not one I would recommend to “Conservatives” and would want to sit in with any independent to better help point to them the nuances I saw from my own experience.
This is a pretty solid overall documentary for Michael Moore. He has improved since his last few attempts but this is still a case of speaking to the choir and is not one that could easily be used as an outreach. Never the less it is a fun ride so if you are “progressive” in your leanings or are an independent that has a friend that is “progressive” check this out you will likely enjoy it.