Well, that was a kick in the gut. This film, the follow-up to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth from 2006 shows just how rapid and exponential things are changing in our global society and climate in relation to our environment and inevitable rocky future, even if it is only 11 years later, and the urgency to as we slip further toward the point of no return.
A movie that exemplifies the risk and devastating outcomes of humans on the Earth visually and emotionally, where growing tensions on either side of the debate seem to only erode our chances for a positive outcome for all and politicians seem hell-bent on denying their basic instinct to survive.
The film seems to focus more on the extremes of climate change (formerly known as ‘global warming’) which is mostly damage, destruction, and death – all the hallmarks of a good Roland Emmerich film like Independence Day or 2012 … oh, how I wish this wasn’t a documentary… It isn’t all doom and gloom, but in such a brief amount of time (barely more than a decade) humanity seems to be leaving this assignment until the night before it’s due, in the case of saving the environment.
It is informative too; science speaks volumes over hyperbolic and unproven claims from deniers worrying more about money and power than saving the world. Al Gore presents his case via a glitzy PowerPoint presentation but is so vehement in his stance, and still passionate all these years later you can’t help but listen.
The subject matter is the main character of the story, and statistics are the script. Despite being a documentary, the filmmakers still put the effort and time into considered cinematography and meaningful imagery to drive the message down our throats, even if it is a little ham-fisted, and they do pepper it with occasional glimpses of positivity and excitement for the future… even if only ephemerally.
You’d have to be staunchly stubborn or an idiot not to leave this movie with a greater sense of why it exists and why so many people are fighting for the cause for renewable energies. Thankfully it ends on a happier tone, set just as the Paris Agreement is signed, and those brief few weeks we thought everything would be okay. We also see how crucial Gore was to the accord being unanimous, which could be a humble brag and the real purpose of the film.
An Inconvenient Sequel is perhaps more relevant now than its predecessor, but in a world of mass consumption and instant gratification, getting bums on seats to watch films about how we’ve screwed the pooch when it comes to the wellbeing of our kids and their kids too is a tough ask. We live in a time of inner turmoil and it is challenging to get people to think on a global scale, so perhaps that is the biggest challenge of this film – because content-wise itself it is a great watch, that is poignant and entertaining, and you’ll learn stuff!