Monday, 19 May 2008

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? Review

There's a lot to be said for documentary comedies. Firstly no matter how worrying the topic, finding humour in troublesome things is what sets us apart from the animals (except the hyenas). Secondly it makes people who usually get bored by facts and figures and other such things sit up and pay attention. A bit like the teacher you liked because they were funny and informative. But getting the balance right is a very difficult thing, crack too many jokes and you lose the respect, don't teach 'em and they won't not learn nuffing.

Morgan Spurlock, the man who ate more Big Macs than any man has a right to do, is back to the feature film format after a small run of tv documentaries on More4. With a brand new baby on the way Morgan thinks the world is just not safe with so many bad things lurking around, top of the list being Americas Occasionally Most Wanted Osama Bin Laden. So just like every hero in the good ol' action flick/westerns he was raised on, he sets off, solo, to find him.

While that brief little synopsis might sound like a kick ass movie if John McClane was on board what we get instead is a sympathetic look at the Middle East and its surrounding areas in a 'see not all Musilms are mental!' kinda way. While its a lovely message of peace and love and all such things you do get the impression that he's just preaching to the choir. Any fan of Spurlocks work will be fully aware that the foreign policy of America is as fair as a wrestling match between Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Stephen 'The Veg' Hawkings. But that alone doesn't mean the movie shouldn't be made.

It just feels a bit like the cinema is the wrong place for it. Instead tapes should be handed out to every classroom in the country so that the little ones can learn from an early age that such things as politics and religion should be kept as far apart as humanly possible. While Morgan's main joke of asking random people where Osama is falls flat pretty quick, the computer effects and the fact that he's not spouting Michael Moore style tirades at everybody who doesn't give their last penny to Oxfam means he's just the right sort of teacher to get his message across. Film as education for the under 16's. The petition starts here.

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