‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,’ better as PBS special than big-screen movie

By Eleanor Ringel Cater

Perhaps the most inconvenient thing about “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” is that it even exists.

Wouldn’t it have been swell if Al Gore’s Oscar-winning 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” had fixed everything?

If it had so galvanized the planet that, a decade later, climate change was no longer a challenge?

Unfortunately, as this movie shows, everything environmental has pretty much gotten worse.

inconvenient truth, sequel

Al Gore travels the world to share the lessons of his first movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ Gore’s air travels to promote the movie have renewed debate over the carbon footprint of the wealthy as they jet about to support their causes. Credit: empireonline.it

But a bigger problem hasn’t translated into a better movie. “An Inconvenient Truth” was truly all about how precarious things have gotten, despite warnings – and increased awareness – of global warming.

“An Inconvenient Sequel” is, well … all about Al.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some important points to make and some effective scenes in which to make them. But overall, the film lacks that Nerd Professor factor that made its predecessor so awkwardly charming. This Al Gore isn’t about to climb a ladder and use a pointer.

Instead, he travels the world, attending conferences and conducting classes in how to pass along the lessons of  “An Inconvenient Truth.” Meanwhile, glaciers are still melting. Off-season hurricanes are still brewing. And an ill wind named Donald Trump (environmentally speaking, if nothing else) has blown into the White House.

Gore’s intentions remain admirable. His manner is just as stiff (if anything, a bit stiffer since he takes himself a bit more seriously this time).  And the data he shares is still disturbing.

But “An Inconvenient Sequel” simply doesn’t catch you up the way the original did.

As a movie, it’s a pretty good lecture. Or PBS special.

 

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

1 reply
  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    The original movie has been dissected and proved to be full of errors and lies. Al Gore’s hypocritical mantra “Don’t do as I do, do as I say do” has been repeatedly exposed, the most recent revelation being that his home uses 20 as much electricity as the average home. Now the movie sequel fizzled in its first weekend. In a resuscitation attempt, Paramount put it in 576 theaters last weekend, an increase of 376 over the first weekend. All was for nought as the second weekend box office was 15% lower than the first. We can now consider it a bomb. Not even PBS could make it popular.Report

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

What are your thoughts?