Saturday, December 27, 2008

An American Carol: Grade D

An American Carol (2008)
Kevin P. Farley, Kelsey Grammer, Leslie Nielsen, with appearances by Bill O’Reilly, Dennis Hopper, John Voight. Co-writer and director David Zuckoff.

I rented this movie because I thought it would be a Leslie Nielsen Airplane-esque spoof of left wing politics, especially the Michael Moore variety. Instead, it is a one-theme political diatribe of the form, “Michael Moore hates America!” The assumption is that any criticism of any part of American government makes one a traitor working for the country’s enemies. But the main problem is that the movie is not funny. Maybe funny is not something that the right does.

There are two or three scenes of inspired silliness, such as the opening, when the terrorist leader calls for one of his men, “Mohammed! Come here!” and 15 guys appear from behind rocks and rush to him. They play that joke out for two or three more minutes. That is the real Leslie Nielsen silliness I love. Another inspired segment has Dennis Hopper as a judge blasting his shotgun at ACLU zombies who have invaded his courtroom. Hopper was terrific in that role. Kelsey Grammer was outstanding as General George Patton, a ghost who escorts Farley as Michael Malone across time and space, per “It’s a Wonderful Life,” to see what would have happened if war were banned as left-wing liberals insist. We see that Malone would now be a slaveowner because the Civil War was not fought and “Victoria’s Secret” had become “Victoria’s Burka.” Is that funny? I see only heavy handed didactics.

Liberal politics certainly is ripe for a satire, but this isn’t it.

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