For decades now, former Vice President Al Gore has been crusading for Washington to take the threat of climate change seriously. The documentary "Inconvenient Truth" illustrates an Al Gore that is growing more weary and agitated that so few are listening.
A passionate environmentalist, Gore has traveled the globe to view the devastation caused by man on Mother Earth, and he's assembled scientific data and personal knowledge into a slide show/lecture about the growing need to take pollution seriously. "Truth" is the filmed version of these lectures, with Gore, armed with his trusty silver laptop, in front of an appreciative crowd discussing the evidence he's gathered on the subject.
With such hot potato topics at hand, director David Guggenheim (2000's "Gossip") has the potential to truly slam home some important information to folks who either believe or scoff at the idea of global warming. However, I was disappointed to see the director include some flaccid, uninspired political potshots, effectively killing 50% of the potential audience. With such significant ideas to convey, it's a damn shame that the already converted will be the only ones to hear it. The harebrained 2000 presidential election is treated with a montage and some commentary, but Guggenheim positions it as a necessary catalyst to show why Gore decided to start back on the lecture circuit.
If the viewer can get past some idiotic directorial choices and thoroughly cheese ball shots of Gore looking out of various windows concerned and contemplative, there is some vital information to be shared here on the condition of the planet. Presenting a wealth of environmental charts and graphs (along with animation for the impatient), Gore paints a disturbing portrait of the earth's health, and the ways numerous countries have ignored the warning signs that seem so easy to spot (comparison photos from the world's glaciers and forests are frequently used). Gore suggests a thirst for greed and a newfound ignorance of science are the major factors to blame here, along with citizens who just don't have the time to care.
Well timed to the current hysteria over gas mileage, "Truth" sheds light on ideas few films are willing to cover, unless dressed up as dreadful, inconsiderate summer blockbuster fare ("The Day After Tomorrow"). It also paints a fascinating, if completely manipulated portrait of Al Gore, who means well, even if his choice of jokes decimates his message. "Inconvenient Truth" might not be to everyone's tastes, but it's trying to do something positive in a time when forward thinking always seems to be punished.
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