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Rated 3.03 stars
by 1090 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Save the Green Planet!
by Adam Hakari

An Inconvenient Truth can be viewed as something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is indeed a stirring and informative documentary about a subject that needs to be addressed immediately. On the other hand, because the film's host is Al Gore, it leads some people to believe the film may be "meant" for those of certain political affiliations, a reaction exemplifying the closed-mindedness all too rampant in today's society. But regardless of political loyalties, An Inconvenient Truth presents an issue of importance to all mankind. 

Global warming is a grave dilemma that's only getting worse -- and it's our responsibility to do something about it. Former Vice President Gore has been giving a lecture on the subject for decades (over 1,000 times, by his estimate), and now, at a time when it's getting almost too late to turn back, Gore has teamed up with director Davis Guggenheim (Gossip) to broaden his message for the moviegoing masses. By way of a slick slideshow presentation, Gore uses charts, graphs, cartoons, and cold-hard facts to support his point that our planet is suffering the increasingly devastating effects of global climate change. The earth's once-mighty glaciers are receding fast. More and more species are abandoning their homes due to environmental changes, only to find that alternate habitats are already occupied. Temperatures are soaring, as evidenced by the fact that ten of the hottest years on record took place in the last 14 years. But despite all of these signs of Earth's gradual demise, Gore is also quick to point out that it's not too late to turn back, to change our ways as a people and take the necessary steps to save our world for the sake of future generations.

There will be those for whom the information revealed and lessons conveyed in An Inconvenient Truth will not come as news. There are those who will look at this film and, keeping in mind all the attempts made to raise awareness of the environment in the past, wonder what the point is. But An Inconvenient Truth lets the facts speak for themselves, and what these facts are saying is that despite all the red flags tossed up over the past few years, the situation is still worsening on an almost daily basis.

This is a cinematic cry for help, a very solemn and polished means of letting people know that now is the time before the planet's veritable asphyxiation becomes an irreversible future. The film is wise not to make everything an issue of politics (although Gore does present clips of various politicos dismissing the idea of global warming as a hoax) but rather one that simply lays the facts on the line -- and in a way that envelops the entire human race instead of splitting it up into factions.

True, the idea of a documentary simultaneously preaching to and yelling at you doesn't sound like gripping cinema, and to be fair, An Inconvenient Truth gives off a stiff vibe in its presentation. This is a picture whose message outweighs its delivery, as the structure mostly boils down to Al Gore giving a PowerPoint presentation for an hour and a half. And Gore, as dedicated and passionate as he is in wanting to spread his word, doesn't exactly make the most compelling host. He tends to drone on once in a while, occasionally bring politics into the subject, and inserts a little too much of his own experiences. In short, instead of letting others share their viewpoints or relate anecdotes relating to the topic of global warming, most of An Inconvenient Truth plays out like "The Al Gore Show." 

However, although the overall presentation here is a bit on the stilted side, it scarcely hampers the overall effect of An Inconvenient Truth. Instead of pulling a Chicken Little on the moviegoing public, Gore and company confront the issue with pure logic and facts before trying to inspire viewers to help right what wrongs have been inflicted upon our planet. Despite its stern outlook, An Inconvenient Truth deserves to be seen and heard.

MY RATING: *** (out of ****)

(Released by Paramount Classics and rated "PG" for mild thematic elements.)

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