An American Carol, 2/5

Rated PG-13. Click here to view the trailer.

An American Carol
has an excellent, excellent premise. It’ s a shame the rest of movie can’t even begin to live up to it. Why? Let’s just say it has country music star Trace Atkins playing the Angel of Death.

Produced and directed by Jerry Zucker (the man behind Airplane! and The Naked Gun), Carol stars Kevin Farley (brother of deceased funny man, Chris) as a Michael Moore-style documentary maker, who, much like the real man, lives for pissing off Republicans. In the movie, he leads a group called “MooveAlong.Org” to ban the Fourth of July. A modern conservative take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the Cratchit to his Scrooge is his nephew, Josh, who is fixing to ship out to Iraq. Just as the chubby filmmaker is beginning to shoot a feature film with some financial backing from some mysterious Afghanis, he falls asleep as is visited by ghosts who escort him through “real” America and he learns what a liberal wimp he has really been.

To say the movie’s treatment of modern politics is heavy handed is a severe understatement. Then again, no one ever accused Michael Moore of being subtle either.

There are many conservatives that are great thinkers and artists, but none of them signed up for this movie. There are some relatively big names (Kelsey Grammer as General Patton, Dennis Hopper, Jon Voight as George Washington, Bill O’Reilly as himself and finally Leslie Nielsen) and some relatively small names (Kevin Sorbo, Kevin Farley, a Rosy O’Donnell lookalike) and I will say that the production values aren’t horrible. Farley is OK because, let’s face it, Michael Moore is a parody waiting to happen.

Things in this movie just don’t work. Nielsen’s narration was absolutely unnecessary. Even more unnecessary was the absolutely retarded Tiny Tim cadre of characters. I almost want to tell you to see it so you can see just how stupid that part is.

Call me a liberal commie sympathizing pinko if you want (not many have), but I am smart enough to realize that opposing the war doesn’t necessarily mean you hate the troops. The movie doesn’t. Still, is does paint of positive picture of NASCAR America and I’m tempted give them the benefit of the doubt. To an extent I agree with many of the sentiments this film espouses, even if they sometimes get out of hand.

So, you’re also a conservative. Would you like this movie? Is a positive picture of America worth the hiccups? Judge for yourself based on these two scenes:

  • ACLU lawyers dressed up as Zombies invade a court room. Grammer, the entire 3rd Mechanized Calvary Division, and Hopper fend them off with shotguns. As a stray shot nicks a copy of the Ten Commandments, Grammer dispatches another lawyer and asks “It is the one about not killing still up there?”
  • Terrorist A calls out to one of his colleagues in a crowd: “Hey, Muhammad!” Every other terrorist answers. Terrorist A: “Dang it. I must remember to use last names. Muhammad Hussein!” Every terrorist answers. Haha.

It’s not a great or even a good movie. It will do nothing to correct the popular image of Republicans and conservative Christians as ignorant boobs, even if there are some nuggets of truth in there. I must also point out that equating liberalism with wanting banish the Fourth of July is fairly large leap.

Conservative satire is a very hard thing to do, and the brother of a former SNL star and the guy behind “We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?” are not the people to do it. Hollywood and America could use a good conservative Dickensian fairy tale, I just wish they’d been smarter about it. All that said, my boss loved it.

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