Well, I am not a native speaker, so please bear with me! I have seen this movie twice now and I really wanted to like it. I love the Planet Earth-Series and other nature/environment-related movies, but this one is a little...special. First of all, the visuals (e.g. photography) are stunning and very beautiful. Sadly, this is the only real good thing about this movie. What I consider bad about this movie? Well, there are several things:
The whole movie has a kind of instructive touch (as in preaching from above to dumb people) and it seems as if the filmmakers thought of their audience as stupid and therefore repeat everything over and over again - maybe they have to, but it still leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. | The narration: Firstly, the (female) narrator is not bad, but in no way can she compare to David Attenborough of the Planet Earth-Series. The narration makes this movie seem a little alarmist, but not in a way that shocks you and makes you want to change things, but in a way that makes you think 'Yes, yes, I know! You said that already!'. Then, there is the vocabulary used. This is one of the things that disturbed me from the start (especially me as a German). Talking about herding cattle as keeping livestock "in concentration camp-like conditions" is not only outrageously insensitive, but also outright stupid. While saying things like this may be effective in creating attention, there are definitely better ways to do so. And why is half of what the narrator is saying numbers and statistics without any reference or comparison? Nobody will remember any of the numbers anyways, so please, at least give us the numbers with a context! | I personally don't like what I call the "spiritualistic approach" of this movie. By this I mean, that it is repeated over and over how everything in this world is connected and how humans are kind of a tumor on this earth that ruins it. While this may be true to some degree it still leaves a weird taste and makes this movie seem like creationist propaganda (which I am sure it is not, I'm just saying that this is not a very smart thing to do). | The movie basically only complains about the destruction of the earth by humans but offers no real solutions. The solutions it offers are ones that are already being used (e.g. using solar power) or are weirdly esoteric ones (e.g. everybody live in peace, the rest will work itself out). - This movie is very over-simplistic and one-sided. While none of the things being said are really wrong, most of them aren't really correct either. By using (debatable) arguments like this, the movie gets a bit of a manipulative touch. | While sponsoring this movie might be a good idea for the companies involved, this leaves one question: Why was every company allowed to put their name on this movie? Most of the companies produce in so-called third-world countries under worst circumstances for the workers and sell the products as luxury articles in industrialized countries and therefore actively take part in some of the activities that this movie wants to tell you about - so why the heck did the filmmakers take their money? | All in all, as a movie, this film isn't very entertaining. There is not really anything more than the visuals to keep you watching it, the narration is basically mostly throwing statistics at you and there is simply nothing new to it. | Another big problem with this movie is, that it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It isn't a documentary, but it isn't a normal picture either. It starts with stating that certain things are bad about the way humans treat the earth, but keeps adding stuff until you just don't care anymore. For example, the narrator says, that eating meat is bad for the environment. Then it adds, that coal mining is bad, goes on to say something else is bad and so on. Starting from 'Oh, yes, that's interesting, I didn't know that!' you will go to 'Okay, so everything is bad?' This IMHO also weakens the message of the movie a lot, the filmmakers should have just focused on fewer issues to tackle instead of being against environmental destruction, industrialism, globalization and the military. Don't get me wrong, it is very right to be against all of those things, but being against all of them at once is just hard to communicate in only one movie.
Also, please keep in mind that this movie is NOT a documentary in the usual sense of the word. There is nothing that is being documented, there is nothing new and there is nothing innovative in any way about this movie. While this is not necessarily bad, it changes the focus of the film from being a very boring documentary (which, as I have already said, it is not) to what it really is, a beautiful, but still only mildly entertaining movie.
So, in short: If you haven't seen the Planet Earth-Series, go see it now! If you have already seen it and watched all the other recent documentaries about environmental issues and want to see this one, go on and see it, but don't expect it to be more than average. Keep in mind what I have written above about this movie not being a documentary and you should be happy with it. About my rating: Considering 10 is the best and 1 is the worst possible rating on IMDb, I gave this movie 6 stars. 5 stars is average, I added two stars for the awesome visuals, none for the narration (above average voice-work, but without any real substance) and subtracted one point for things that really made me angry (for stuff like the concentration camp-reference and similar things).
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