Al Gore, former vice-president, nearly president, now “climate change” multi-millionaire guru, is back in the limelight with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, a follow up to his alarmist Powerpoint hit in 2006, An Inconvenient Truth.
The headline to Ben Kenigsberg’s review, in the New York Times Weekend Arts section Friday, lacks any trace of journalistic cyncism: “The Latest Word From Al Gore on Climate Change.” Straight from the oracle’s mouth? The text box: “In a sequel, this environmental activist focuses on extreme weather trends as indicators of global warming.”
In a summer movie landscape with Spider-Man, a simian army waging further battle for the planet and Charlize Theron as a sexy Cold War-era superspy, it says something that one of the most compelling characters is Al Gore.
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” a follow-up to “An Inconvenient Truth,” Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning documentary from 2006, is a reboot that justifies its existence — and not just because Mr. Gore has fresh news to report on climate change since his previous multimedia presentation played in multiplexes.
Now gray-haired and at times sounding angrier in his speeches, Mr. Gore, in “Sequel,” takes on the air of a Shakespearean figure, a man long cast out of power by what he casually refers to as “the Supreme Court decision” (meaning Bush v. Gore) but still making the same arguments that have been hallmarks of his career.
If there is a thesis in this new documentary, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (“Audrie & Daisy”), it’s that a rise in extreme weather is making the impact of climate change harder to deny. The movie touches on Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Canada, and the Zika virus. Mr. Gore visits Greenland and the flooded streets of the Miami area. (He acknowledges a complicated relationship with Florida.)
Mr. Gore likens President Trump’s election to a quip often attributed to Mike Tyson: You always have a plan until you get punched in the face. The movie has been updated since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January to include Mr. Trump’s announcement of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, a decision that probably forecasts another sequel.
The new Gore hype even found its way into comics coverage last Monday, as the paper highlighted a fairly obscure strip purely for its ideological environmental motivations. George Gene Gustines, who writes about comics for the paper, pushed “climate change” in an interview with an “environmentally minded cartoonist” (sounds hilarious!) in “To Herald a Film, a Comic Strip Mirrors the Ravages of Climate Change.”