Review - Where to Invade Next
By midlandsmovies, Jun 6 2016 03:51PM
Where to Invade Next (2016) Dir. Michael Moore
After the impressive Sicko (2007) – a film I found immensely eye-opening – comes another Michael Moore documentary in a similar vein as he trots around Europe showcasing their methods of dealing with society’s problems and comparing them to the approach his fellow Americans take back home.
Anyone who has seen a Moore documentary will know the score here and on that front the documentary loses some impact with a seen-it-all-before style. Moore’s increasingly bulky frame lumbers from one heavy-handed point to the next but, as always with Moore, his point – as one-sided as it is – is always simple and informative.
Here, he goes to countries to look at how they tackle various issues – in Italy he looks at annual leave, paid vacations, happy employees and a productive workforce whilst hopping over to Norway he observes their unique ways to rehabilitate criminals as an antidote to the punitive prisons in the States. With talking heads, formal interviews and meaningful montages he continues through Slovenia (free education), Portugal (drug rehab), France (workers’ rights) and beyond to show how the things America pioneered were now regressing to a slave-like state in his homeland.
A heavy handed Nazi comparison on freedom, a nation’s past and admitting mistakes missed the mark in my eyes. Moore’s simplistic style overlooked the complex issues at play and a Hitler comparison falls foul of Godwin’s Law (click for explanation).
That said, it had its heart in the right place and although I missed Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, the film is actually more of a companion piece to Sicko using the same “it’s better here so why don’t we have it” propositions of that film.
Tackling issues straight on, if Moore isn’t your cup of tea then you’ll find nothing to dissuade you of that in this documentary. Fans also may find his style becoming a bit pedestrian or run of the mill but the questions and answers he develops are increasing in their importance.
Occupying the middle-ground of Moore’s work, Where to Invade Next overruns its welcome with repeated arguments but as 9 years have passed since Sicko – not only have these problems not been solved, Moore suggests they’ve increased and its darn-tootin’ time his countrymen did something about them.
Midlands Movies Mike