Monday, October 26, 2009

Capitalism: A Love Story (**)

Capitalism: A Love Story. 127 mins. R. Written & Directed by and Starring Michael Moore.

Love him or hate him, Michael Moore may be a polarizing personality but he's a pretty darn good filmmaker. Even when his movies overreach or avoid impartiality, he still knows how to entertain and keep things interesting. But after four big documentaries (Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko), his filmmaking quirks are starting to wear a little thin. It doesn't matter what subject he's covering - he always pulls from the same bag of tricks. The sing-song narration, the Jackass-style "stunts", the archival footage of 1950s Americana, the weepy profiles on victims (of gun control, health care, George Bush, GE, etc.). By now, you've seen it all before and the end result is just tiring. It doesn't help matters that Moore struggles to connect the dots necessary to make the grand thesis statement he wants to make: capitalism is the devil. That's a tad hard to believe given the fact that capitalism has been very kind to Moore, and though I appreciate how popular Moore has made the documentary film, he's starting to abuse the power he's gained. Maybe he needs to switch it up and tackle another fictional film (but please, no Canadian Bacon 2). Capitalism: A Love Story is all talk and no game. At a running time of over 2 hours, the movie easily outstays its welcome, and offers zero solutions to the problems it raises. If it's a documentary you're after - allow me to suggest Anvil! The Story of Anvil instead.

- John


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