Friday, June 29, 2007

Movie Review: Sicko

Sicko isn't going to convert any of the Michael Moore haters. If you want to spit on the ground and kiss your Ronald Reagan wallet photo anytime you hear Moore's name mentioned in public, this film isn't for you.

After watching his movie, you'll admit Sicko contains a touch of Moore's opinion spread amongst its facts. In some ways, the film fails as a documentary. However Sicko, is the closest thing Moore has made to a true documentary in years. Possibly ever. Only Roger & Me comes to mind as comparable work. In spite of a few flaws, Sicko is brilliant. One of the most levelheaded pictures Hollywood has put on the big screen in years.

Does Sicko run long in the tooth during a middle act occurring in France? Moore could have trimmed ten minutes out and achieved a more concise documentary. Seeking to bring a point home that providing one additional service will not bankrupt the United States, he unintentionally roams from his health care theme. During the middle act, his intent seems to border on, "we're still in Iraqi, we should have listened, France is our friend, and all of France's socialist services beat the USA government easily." In spite of his deviation, Sicko continues to progress and manages to tell an enthralling story.

Moore manages to take a few Ground Zero workers to Cuba in his last act. He stages what borders between an opportunistic photo op and outright exploitation of the Ground Zero workers, while on a boat near Guantanamo Bay. Even so, Moore salvages the last act of Sicko, in such a dramatic way, it could almost bring a tear to a normal person's eye.

Moore's look into the American health care system spares no one. Pfizer, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline feared what their employees might say to Moore while he worked on Sicko, instructing their employees not to have any contact with Moore. He tells the story of friend and foe, avoiding shots at Bush for the most part, and tries to stray from influencing the film's eventual outcome. He fails at times and succeeds at others. But his narrative way produces a movie that entertains, examines an important issue, and could bring this issue back into the next election.

Moore is often criticized for being anti-American or unpatriotic. After this film, you might leave with a new found respect for Moore. He's transformed himself into one of the biggest political activist for working class Americans. Any guy that uses the Bill of Rights and defends them, can't be all bad, regardless of what Fox News tells you.