Thursday, 30 November 2017

An Incovenient Sequel: Truth To Power: DVD Review

An Incovenient Sequel: Truth To Power: DVD Review 

Cast: Al Gore, the world, Icebergs, Paris Climate Change Agreement
Director: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk

It's perhaps no surprise to see the climate change issue rear its head again with this sequel to the Oscar nominated An Inconvenient Truth for nearly a decade ago.

But in truth, unlike the previous film which packed a kind of urgency and a power, the latest from Al Gore's omnipresent crusade to quell climate change is, and it's no joy to report this, a self-aggrandising bore of a documentary.

Following Gore around as he jets about, takes cars and only once uses public transport (due to clogged roads), the documentary pursues Gore as he pushes once again to get those who disbelieve to believe.

In some kind of version of a Billy Graham puritannical push, the anti-climate change zealot tries desperately to convert India away from its desire to produce more coal-burning plants ahead of the Paris climate change meeting.

There can be no denial of the weather conditions and an increase in extreme weather events over the past few years, and while the science of these is glossed over in favour of footage speaking for itself (the flooding of the World Trade Centre memorial being Gore's crowning glory to naysayers who denied him in the first film)

An Inconvenient Sequel feels more like a bizarre extended 60 Minutes with Al Gore special.

With Gore given time to intone his desire to change the world and space to vocalise his "I feel I have failed" mentality throughout, the emphasis is on anything but the apparent urgent matter on hand - the climate itself.

It's more squarely focussed on scenes of Gore becoming emotionally and earnestly enraged at the futility of denials of others.

In one scene, where he's being prepped for an interview for MSNBC, the anchor promises they will cover climate after Gore's repeated reminders. It's the cinematic equivalent of the old man shouting futilely in a corner to himself.

It's not that Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk could have done much more with An Incovenient Sequel: Truth To Power.

The nadir comes when Gore's proposed 24 hour live broadcast from the Paris Agreement is interrupted by the Bataclan terror attacks, promping Gore to offer a heartfelt speech on the perils of terror.

There's a little too much of the spotlight being on Gore, and while occasionally the powerpoint presentations shock with their facts, there's little to justify a sequel.

Gore (while verging on being Al Bore at times) spends much time talking of how the first film created an uprising, and we get to see early footage of him taking some bootcamps to inspire others from his altruism.

It would have been far better for An Incovenient Sequel: Truth To Power to focus on one of these; a groundswell common approach to the problem and the crisis; it would have granted the film a more personal touch, rather than being an almost out-of-touch film that serves only really to promote Gore himself, overplay his hand in the Paris Climate Change agreements and to push one of the wettest ever recruitment videos over the closing credits.

Sadly, despite there being elements of the climate change argument that are compelling in this film, it is predominantly just a lot of hot air that fails to inspire as it should.

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