Released in theaters
- Aug, 2017
- 77% – Rotten Tomatoes Critics
- 48% – Rotten Tomatoes Movie Goers
- 75% – Roger Koehler
- Mother Earth
- Al Gore
- Jon Schenk, Bonni Cohen
My wife and I just saw the sequel to the original “Inconvenient Truth” which was released some ten years ago. It was not easy to find a theater in which it was playing as the national, theatrical run for this movie seems to be fading fast after only about two weeks of general release. So while it needs to be seen by many, it is actually being seen and heard by only a very few it appears.
An Inconvenient Sequel movie trailer …
The movie is professionally done. After winning an Oscar the first time around, you would expect that this one would be even better from a technical standpoint … and it is. Although my specific memories of the original is admittedly a bit hazy, one thing I have read pointed out about this sequel is that it does not rely as heavily upon rather dry, Powerpoint presentations, like its predecessor. I don’t recall that being a particular personal turnoff in the first film, but it definitely is not a problem with this one.
The movie also strikes a balance between scenes that alarm, along with a message of hope. Gore makes that point specifically to an audience of his climate change trainees during the film. He cautions them that when they see the evidence of environmental deterioration, they must guard against simply feeling inadequate to the task of raising awareness.
There is a bit of a plot-within-the-plot aspect to this film. The Paris Climate Accord plays a definite role, in particular India’s reluctance to stop building new coal-fired plants and therefore their holdout on signing the accord. Gore is very involved in the process of trying to work with India and he helps broker a deal between India and SolarCity of California which was instrumental in getting India to eventually sign on.
India’s current and future involvement in the switch to renewable energy …
I found particularly interesting Gore’s discussion with the mayor of Georgetown, Texas. It is a very conservative, red town in obviously the very red state of oil-rich Texas. However, Georgetown is now powered completely by renewable energy. As both Gore and the mayor say, “Money talks”. Not only is renewable good for the planet, it is also fast becoming a preferable economic alternative. There are not a lot, but there are a number of other smaller cities around the United States that are also using 100% renewable energy at this time.
The scenes of the non-storm related, regular tidal flooding that occurs in some streets of Miami is another powerful section of the movie, particularly given the complete climate change denial mindset of Florida’s current governor, Rick Scott.
As you may have noted, the movie currently receives Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 77% by the professional critics, but only 48% by the viewing audience. I find that second one a bit disconcerting. While the movie is obviously not being seen by many, I think it fair to say the people who are going to see it are probably not either Al Gore haters or right wing conservatives. So you would think the viewers who do see it would be predisposed to at least appreciate the movie. I think “enjoy” or “like” may not be appropriate expectations. Even my rating of 75% reflects that while I appreciated how well the movie was done, and the message that it is trying to deliver, it is not the type of movie that elicits a “Wow, what an experience to see” reaction.
Trump’s pull-out from the Climate Accord certainly does get some mention near the end of the film. As Gore points out was once said by a boxer, “Everyone has a plan … until the first time they get hit in the face.”
The positive aspect to Trump’s action has been to apparently solidify the resolve of the rest of the world, and also to make individual U.S. states and corporations continue to make plans to convert to renewable energy. California, the world’s 6th largest economy on its own, is stepping in to fill the leadership void left by the current administration
Unfortunately, without governmental leadership at the present, a void is left to fill for other developing nations who want to pursue renewable energy. That void is now being filled, more often than not, by China.
Even though few are seeing it in theaters, I sincerely hope that this film will find its way to schools, universities, local governments, etc. all around the nation so that its continuing message remains alive.
As the final message indicates “Fight like the world depends upon it … because the world depends upon it.”
Rotten Tomatoes reviews …