At a July 4 barbecue, gramps tells the kids the story of Michael Malone, a documentary filmmaker and Michael Moore look-alike who hates America and wants to abolish July 4th. He refuses to celebrate with his nephew Josh, who's shipping out soon to the Middle East. That night, Michel has a vision of his hero, JFK, who predicts that three ghosts will visit Michael. Sure enough, General Patton, George Washington, and country music star Trace Adkins visit Michael show him the fruits of patriotism, just wars, and pacifism. Meanwhile, Arab terrorists want Malone to help them with a propaganda film. Is he the next Leni Riefenstahl or will he see the light?Written by
Patton speaks dismissively of his portrayal in Patton ("That Patton was an actor!"). And yet throughout the film Kelsey Grammer speaks in the gruff, gravely voice that George C. Scott used in that picture. In fact, the real historical Patton spoke in a sharp, nasal, and slightly Southern accented voice. See more »
In general, I find myself enjoying a lot of comedy movies that were critically panned (BASEketball, Freddy Got Fingered, The Greasy Strangler) and I guess you could say I'm a fan of Zucker. This does not mean that I had incredibly high hopes for this movie, but I was just hoping for a solid comedy that takes a piss on politics. The first 10 minutes were pretty good, with an incredibly funny scene where Moore is shooting a scene in Cuba where everything is obviously really bad, which he is completely oblivious to (or repressing it) describing it as a socialist paradise. However, after the opening the movie slowly started to lose me, to the point where during the last 20 minutes i sank lower and lower from my bed until I laid down on the floor.
I'm from Denmark, and of course I carry some personal opinions about American politics, which most people outside America do in 2018 because of social media. But this movie is pretty damn ham-fisted with its messages. One thing is that it only shows how stupid democrats can be. That would be totally fine with me if:
1) It was clever and funny. The "left" in this movie is so obnoxious. Watching this you keep asking yourself "do people really believe that leftists acts this way?" It should have either made clever critiques at their ideology or it should have went completely funny. Instead we get a pathetic "parody" (we see the same thing with leftists making fun of right-wings) that is so out of touch with reality and just frustrates you instead of making you laugh.
2) If it wasn't so serious. If the movie just tried to be funny and absurd that would be perfect. But there are so many obvious tries at making a point or to make you feel some kind of spark of nationalism (again, I'm not from America, but I seriously don't think that many people would feel that spark by watching this movie) that it kind of ruins a lot of the "background" jokes that Zucker is so wellknown for. His style and jokes really do not fit with the way this movie is written. Instead they just feel obligatory to remind you that the movie is in fact a comedy. Still, these signature jokes are the only thing that saves this movie from being the worst thing ever and they did manage to make me laugh a couple of times. The political jokes are just plain bad.
Aside from these problems the movie also suffers from bad acting, especially the lead. Farley is so incredibly annoying as Moore, but not in a good way and none of the other characters bring anything to the table. This doesn't seem like a fault of the actors but more that they didn't have anything to work with.
The script is also very confusing. It could have been the fact that I just lost focus because I was so bored but I got more and more bewildered throughout the movie. The movie is of course a retelling of A Christmas Carol, but it constantly shifts between reality, dreams, past and future. I haven't read the source material so I wouldn't know to what the degree that story does the same, but in this movie I never knew what was happening. The story suddenly started to move incredibly fast, which made a lot of the scenes where Moore is confronted with what would happen if America followed his ways incredibly confusing. I had no idea what lesson he was learing or why. This could be because of the movies short running time, but I'm not sure I wished it was longer.
My final problem with this movie is the message it is trying to portray. Again, if the movie went completely nuts like Team America that would be great and the jokes would land. But it doesn't. Which means you can't stop thinking about the message. I don't mind a patriotic movie, but this one is so bad at it. Do you believe that the wars in Middle Eastern countries are justified? Fine. But don't act like it isn't at least a somewhat complicated issue. This movie completely writes off anyone against war, and acts like the war against Nazi Germany is the exact same as the wars in Middle Eastern countries. There is so much more to delve into with instances like these but that would make this review even longer. Whatever you may believe you need to argue for it in a logical way and this movie doesn't do that at all.
I'm kind of sad seeing that this is the last of Zucker's movies and spoof movies in general seem to have died out. This movie had some potential but it squandered it with a poor message and confusing plot which in turn ruined a lot the jokes.
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