I’ve been hotly anticipating Michael Moore’s next film ever since his last film, 2009’s Capitalism: A Love Story, was released. Moore continues to be one of the more polarizing figures in American pop culture, nearly thirty years after his breakout film Roger and Me in 1989. The past decade was good for Moore, as he won an Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine, his scathing portrait of American life in the wake of the 1999 Columbine mass shooting. A few years later he won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (but was snubbed an Oscar nomination for political reasons) for Fahrenheit 911, a scathing look at the Bush administration and the questionable tactics they used to start a war in the middle east after the events of September 11, 2001. But this time around for his latest film, Where to Invade Next, Mr. Moore isn’t quite as scathing as he has been in his past couple of films. I’d go as far to say its his most positive and upbeat film that he’s made yet, as well as one of his most entertaining and hilarious. Here’s my review of Where to Invade Next.
For his latest film, Michael Moore decides that he’s going to “invade” countries all around Europe and steal the ideas that they have that the United States doesn’t have. He goes to Italy to discover that workers of all sorts in the countries have several weeks of paid vacation each year, then heads over to Finland to learn from their education system (which is entirely free and offers some of the best education in the world), Germany to learn that the middle class in the country are able to make a good living with just one job, and so on.
Michael Moore continues to be disliked by many folks around me still to this day for a number of reasons, something that I understand and don’t understand at the same time (I believed and still believe every word that came out of his mouth in Fahrenheit 911). But I don’t think anybody can dispute that the man can still man a helluva documentary, and one that can be as entertaining as it is for two full hours. A lot of filmmakers have a hard time with keeping the interest of the audience and having them engaged for the entire runtime. Moore has never had this problem with any of his films, and he continues his winning streak with Where to Invade Next. Even though I said this is the most positive film that Moore has ever made, that doesn’t exactly mean its all daisy’s and roses for the runtime. Moore continues to be very critical of the United States when it comes to income taxes, our education system, our misconception of safe-sex and abstinence (there’s a gut-bustingly funny sequence in the film where they show former Texas governor Rick Perry explaining to a reporter why and how abstinence works) and so on.
Moore comes to realization that our country is incredibly flawed and sort of vulnerable when it’s compared to the rest of the world, but closes the film with a key of optimism that I haven’t yet seen in any of Moore’s flicks to date. He begs our country to listen to him and his film, look at what these countries are doing to help make life better for each and every one of their citizens. For this very reason, I’d go as far to say that Moore’s Where to Invade Next is the most important film currently out in theaters right now, and I now beg every single one of you to go see this film and hopefully have a new look at what life is like outside of our country. A lot of candidates for President of the United States on each side keep talking about how when they’ll be elected they’ll strive to make America great again. I feel that the candidates from each side should all sit down and watch this film, and realize that if we take a lot of the stuff that makes Europe so great, we can truly make America the greatest country in the world once again. And for that reason, I highly recommend Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next.