Genre: Comedy, Documentary
Director: Michael Moore
Cast: Michael Moore
Release Date: February 12th, 2016
The premise of Where to Invade Next is very straightforward. Michael Moore, viagra order the Oscar-winning documentarian known for his liberal leanings, adiposity plans to personally invade a variety of countries around the world. He isn’t planning to invade them through military action. He plans to simply visit them, remedy learn from their governmental policies and then bring the best of their ideas back to the United States.
“Instead of sending in the Marines, send in me,” he says as the film opens and he “reports” that he was recently summoned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He offered his services to them and that sets the stage for the international trip he’s about to embark on.
Travelling around the world, Moore plants the American flag and interviews people about some of their government policies. In Italy, he interviews a young couple about the vacation time their employers offer (which gives them ample time to relax and travel the world). In Finland, Moore interviews teachers about that country’s education system (“They do better by going to school less,” he says, noting that students don’t have homework there.) In Germany, he speaks to the nation’s young people about understanding their country’s terrible legacy from World War II.
The two hour film packs in a lot of content with Moore visiting one nation after another in rather quick succession. This is a movie more interested in the quantity of ideas, rather than the depth of them. In fact, Moore notes early on that his “mission is to pick the flowers, not the weeds.” That leaves the film open for criticism by often focusing on the positive elements of these nation’s governmental policies while neglecting some of the negative elements that coincide.
That being said, there’s a lot to appreciate about this film and Moore’s relentless pursuit of thoughtful solutions to our nation’s problems. Although the premise notes that the United States has many flaws, the ideas he talks about here aren’t used to diminish our country. They are meant to inspire it to do more to solve our social ills.
As Moore points out, Finland’s education hasn’t always been so strong. In years past, their students were often falling behind and they ranked closely to the United States in that regard. Their government made some major decisions to improve the situation leading to many positive results so the question is: shouldn’t the United States consider those choices as well?
Moore’s film ends on a powerful note with the filmmaker — who spent much of the film’s running time taking about disparate issues across the globe — really bringing these ideas together in a meaningful way. The gimmick of the film might have worn out its welcome by then but the filmmaker brings new depth to it when he reveals that a lot of the ideas that he’s laid out were partially inspired by the policies of the United States. He expands on that concept notably, leaving viewers to question if we have forgotten about some of our nation’s core values.
Where to Invade Next isn’t proficient in answering all of the questions it poses. Its strength lies in simply asking these questions and letting viewers think about the answers. Moore may not present some of these issues as thoroughly as they deserve to be discussed (several of the topics he brings up — from education reform, to prison reform, to an appreciation of historic mistakes — are so broad that films could be made about each of them). This movie just gives viewers an appetizer into how we can improve our nation. It’s up to us to learn more.
Review by: John Hanlon