MOVIE REVIEW: Where to Invade Next?

Michael Moore climbs on his high horse once again and this time inflicts his brand of pointing out the problems while not changing a damn thing on us once again.  This time he’s travelling around the World to show what America is lacking, travelling to all these places and playfully pretending to invade each country.

I don’t have a problem with Michael Moore, let’s get that clear, although he’s stealing my thunder being an overweight commentator wearing a baseball cap.  But I’m not bitter.  Over the years his documentaries have been very informative and opened our eyes to what the American system is doing to the poor and disadvantaged.  It’s been a great informative ride and we thank you Michael.  Here though you get the feeling that he wanted to travel around the world and make Americans feel like crap in the process.  With his American flag on a pole he’s off on his trip.

The problem I have here is that he’s preaching again.  Not trying to start a social change.  Just preaching.  Why is preaching a problem? I’m hearing you ask, but those could just be the voices in my head again, which isn’t the worst thing they’ve said.  Preaching isn’t a problem but when it comes from Michael Moore you get the question in your head at this point, and I’ve had it since reading one of his books, many years ago.  Some time after either the Bowling documentary or the 9/11 documentary, can’t remember which as I’m too sober writing this, I started to think about it.

Michael Moore is intelligent, well-informed, and passionate about his country.  These are things we can’t deny.  He wants us to see what he sees, and if you love something that much you know what he sees.  When you love something you can see the flaws clearer than anyone else, and you get angry because something you love shouldn’t have flaws.  The question that bugs me, and I’m going to blame my insomnia on this question, is that this intelligent man is seeing all these problems then… WHY ARE YOU NOT POSITIVELY WORKING FOR CHANGE? Why isn’t he running for public office?  Why? Why Michael?

Right back to this film.  Basically Where to Invade Next? Is Michael going around the world and pointing out that countries that are not super powers like the USA have it better than one of the richest nations on the planet.  It’s done in a very tongue-in-cheek way and frankly Mr. Moore you’re bit too old and grumpy looking to be playing cute.  While on his travels and revealing how workers in Europe and beyond enjoy better benefits, vacation days, and standard of life he also informs these people who life for American workers in similar jobs is almost like slave labour.  He’s shoehorned in his normal jabs at the military complex and points out at the start the amounts of Wars that America has been in and the amount of losses incurred during those conflicts.  This didn’t need to be in there and even as an Irishman I felt a little offended that he brought the armed forces in to make his point about the working conditions in other countries.  I honestly didn’t see the need for that.

That’s the film.  His comic touches are all there and I’m sure someone is going to tell me that I missed the point and that I’m some form of Capitalist Swine.  Believe me I’ve been called worse.  But here is the thing.  Every country on the planet has its problems and if there is an Italian Michael Moore, or a French one, or even an Irish Michael Moore, then they could easily go to America and show how the land of the free and the home of the brave offers more than our European countries.

This time I feel like he’s being a little childish about things.  Pointing out that in America you are lucky to have 2 weeks vacation, when in some European countries we have 4 to 6 weeks a year, he fails to point out that most of the workers on this planet, those in third world countries, the ones that make his Nike shoes and branded clothes, they don’t have vacation days at all.  They don’t work they don’t eat.

Now I feel I’m being too preachy and too hard on this film.  The fact is that those who want to feel moral outrage because Michael Moore told them to feel moral outrage now have a new movie.  If you want to make change then do it.  A river starts with a single drop.  This just made me more angry that Michael Moore just wants to point out the world’s problem rather than using his intellect to correct them.  Maybe I’m being too hard on him, maybe this film is just a little fun while informing us, but it felt as though, this time at least, he’s dumbing down his usual technique because he thinks we need that.

In the end I got angry watching this, not because of the facts that he points out, but because in the age of a Trump or Clinton Presidency why hasn’t this man taken off his cap and thrown it into that ring.  Maybe it is because of one simple fact that he’s not pointing out.  It is always easier to point out a problem than it is to work out how to fix it.

Director: Michael Moore
Stars: Michael Moore, Krista Kiuru, Tim Walker

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