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The Yes Men (2003)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 4,572 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 35 user | 67 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

Anti-corporate activists travel from conference to conference, impersonating member of the World Trade Organization.

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Documentary

Comedy troupe The Yes Men stage phony events and press releases in an effort to bring attention to environmental dangers and corporate greed.

Directors: Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno
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Cast

Credited cast:
Mike Bonanno ...
Himself
Andy Bichlbaum ...
Himself
...
Himself
Marco Deseriis ...
Himself
Wago Kreider ...
Himself
Patrick Lichty ...
Himself
Matt McElligott ...
Himself
Ryan McKinley ...
Himself
Laura Nix ...
Herself
Bob Ostertag ...
Himself
Sal Salamone ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Phil Bayly ...
Himself - Chicago News Reporter
Andreas Bichlbauer ...
Himself (as Dr. Andreas Bichlbauer)
Philip De Lorenzo ...
Himself - Student
Greg Palast ...
Himself
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Storyline

A comedic documentary which follows The Yes Men, a small group of prankster activists, as they gain world-wide notoriety for impersonating the World Trade Organization on television and at business conferences around the world. The film begins when two members of The Yes Men, Andy and Mike, set up a website that mimics the World Trade Organization's--and it's mistaken for the real thing. They play along with the ruse and soon find themselves invited to important functions as WTO representatives. Delighted to represent the organization they politically oppose, Andy and Mike don thrift-store suits and set out to shock unwitting audiences with darkly comic satire that highlights the worst aspects of global free trade. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Changing the world one prank at a time.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 January 2005 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Globalisierung, nein danke! - Die 'Yes Men'  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$24,373 (USA) (24 September 2004)

Gross:

$198,975 (USA) (15 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by The Yes Men Fix the World (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Great documentary of a comical movement with serious agenda (and a disturbing manner of executing it)
12 July 2004 | by (jerusalem, israel) – See all my reviews

Imagine- you are a formidable investor, sitting on a Mahogany chair in your chambers and listening to the proposition of two young entrepreneurs to mass market a suit that looks like a star trek outfit with a tv-extension that is located in a very specific area of the body that IMDB reviewers tend to replace its name with signs like : *#@@$%. What would you do? Ask them politely to leave? Call security? Refer them to a Doctor?

Well, if you're one of the economic elite and those two young guys were representatives of the WTO, you would probably clap enthusiastically or, if you're a movie buff that realizes that what he watches really happened, you'd clinch your abdomen so it won't burst from laughing.

As it turns out, what ended as probably the most effective campaign against globalization, started with two guys that had plenty of spare time and very little or no will to grow up. They started an anti-bush site and it got enough resonance to encourage them to design yet another satirical site. This time, about the WTO, an organization that is considered by many (present company EXCLUDED) to be a ruthless organization that its only cause is to weaken developing countries by making them the sweatshop for wealthy corporations.

The "problem" (it turned out to be its greatest virtue) of that site was that it resembled in appearance to the WTO site. As a result, many sent inquiries regarding the WTO to the duo who, up until than, dealt with slightly minor economical dilemmas such as how many pizza toppings to order.

From then on, the sky was the limit. One of the site owners was requested to debate in a CNBC program as a representative of the WTO in favor of the globalization where he stated, with impressive eloquence, deliberately idiotic arguments in favor of the globalization.

The next two years were spent by the duo for making a crusade (which looked like it was taken out of a Monty Python movie) promoting ridiculous notions (like the idea I mentioned in the beginning of this review) to distinguished members of the business community. The Funny/Tragic (depends on the outlook) was that in most places, they had received accolades for their "initiatives" simply because they were mistaken for WTO representatives.

The movie accompanies those two crusaders lobbying against the WTO by impersonating to be its avid supporters and "exposing" its absurdity. I put parenthesis in -exposing because, as its greatest objectors, the duo never raises legitimate arguments in favor of the globalization and deliberately mocks the WTO by proposing horrific solutions to world problems on the WTO's behalf.

That issue is a very disturbing issue because even if I did support their views, I would find it unnerving to be an advocate of a slanderous attack- disguised as satire- disguised as pro WTO activity.

I choose not to debate the issue because the movie creators made the same choice. This movie's perspective is the premise that Globalization is bad and once this point is clear, the movie can switch to lighter note and becomes a light documentary that was funnier than any fictional Hollywood film I've seen in years.

Maybe I should approach this review on a lighter note and instead of dealing with the ethical aspect of the duo's actions, I can just tell you that this film will be fun even if you're not used to see documentary films on the silver screen and as an anarchistic comedy that REALLY HAPPENED, this film is well worth leaving your kids at your parents' house for 80 minutes or so. As long as you don't make a foolish mistake such as taking anything in this film, seriously.

9 out of 10 in my FilmOmeter.


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another liberal with no answer? Columbialion
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I get to talk to Micheal Bonanno. Fraghappy42
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