Friday, February 26, 2016

Where to Invade Next (2015)

IMDb plot summary: To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.
Directed by Michael Moore.

The various individual topics this documentary covers are good ones. There are interviews with various other first world country leaders, workers, and job creators about how they are improving their social systems, and those are all interesting. Where this movie falls apart, however, is whenever Moore makes himself the focus of the picture instead of letting the comparisons between countries speak for themselves. The gimmicky nature of the "We're conquering you" premise isn't nearly as funny as he thinks it is, and every so often he interrupts the interviews to go on a long tirade about his own political opinions and theories. While some of the things he states may be important or true, he'd have done better to put these together through interviews with others. Coming from him, they end up getting shrouded in such a thick layer of smug confidence that it's hard to take any of them as seriously as he wants us to.

The most compelling moments are in the interviews with the overseas citizens, where we get a solid sense of just how silly and selfish they think some of our policies are, especially those that put individual rights above the common societal good. Those are the moments that can make the viewers think. There's definitely enough in the movie to keep it interesting, but if Moore had cut the gimmick and shortened or excised entirely his own soapboxes, it would be a much stronger film.

2.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Where to Invade Next < The Slipper and the Rose
Where to Invade Next > Mr. Holland's Opus
Where to Invade Next > Deja Vu
Where to Invade Next > Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space!
Where to Invade Next > The Ramen Girl
Where to Invade Next > Bunraku
Where to Invade Next < Talk Radio
Where to Invade Next > Holiday
Where to Invade Next < The Lost Weekend
Where to Invade Next > The Year Without a Santa Claus
Final spot: #1243 out of 2436.

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