Screen Entertainment

Al Bore’s inconvenient sequel

Al Gore's climate change campaign has reared its head again with this sequel to the Oscar-nominated An Inconvenient Truth.

It's no joy to report this but, unlike that previous film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is a self-aggrandising bore of a documentary.

Following Al Gore around as he jets about, takes cars, and only once uses public transport (because of clogged roads), the documentary pursues the former US Vice President as he pushes once again to get those who disbelieve to believe.

In a kind of Billy Graham-like puritanical push, this climate change zealot tries desperately to convert India away from its desire to produce more coal-burning plants.

The emphasis is on anything but the urgent matter at hand: the climate itself.

There can be no denial of the weather conditions and an increase in extreme weather events over the past few years, and while the science of these is glossed over in favour of footage speaking for itself, with the flooding of the World Trade Center memorial being Gore's crowning glory over naysayers who denied him in the first film.

An Inconvenient Sequel feels more like a bizarre, extended '60 Minutes with Al Gore' special, with Donald Trump lurking menacingly in the background.

With Gore given time to intone his desire to change the world and space to vocalise his "I feel I have failed" mentality throughout, the emphasis is on anything but the urgent matter at hand: the climate itself.

It's more squarely focussed on scenes of Gore becoming emotionally and earnestly enraged at the futility of the denials of others.

In one scene, where he's being prepped for an interview for MSNBC, the anchor promises they will cover climate change after Gore's repeated reminders. It's the cinematic equivalent of the old man shouting futilely in a corner to himself.

The nadir comes when Gore's proposed 24-hour live broadcast from the Paris Agreement is interrupted by the Bataclan terror attacks, prompting him to offer a heartfelt speech on the perils of terror.

It is predominantly a lot of hot air that fails to inspire as it should.

There's a little too much of the spotlight being on Gore, and while the Powerpoint presentations can shock with their facts, there's little here to justify this sequel.

Gore (while verging on being Al Bore at times) spends much time talking of how the first film created an uprising, and we get to see early footage of him taking some bootcamps to inspire others from his altruism.

It would have been far better for An Inconvenient Sequel to focus on one of these; a groundswell common approach to the problem and the crisis; it would have granted the film a more personal touch, rather than being an almost out-of-touch film that serves only really to promote Gore himself, overplay his hand in the Paris Climate Change agreements, and push one of the wettest ever recruitment videos over the closing credits.

Sadly, despite there being elements of the climate change argument that are compelling in this film, it is predominantly a lot of hot air that fails to inspire as it should.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Directors: Bonnie Cohen & Jon Shenk
Classification: PG
Running time: 97 minutes

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