An Inconvenient Sequel review – Al Gore’s new climate change film lacks heat
The former vice president’s latest documentary on the threat to the planet, which opened the Sundance festival, is desultory and surprisingly vainglorious.
It’s different from An Inconvenient Truth, the celebrated slideshow-as-cinema documentary that won an Oscar and had a striking impact on education and awareness.
An Inconvenient Sequel is more a portrait of Gore than a call to arms. It ends with a sort of forced positivity, much of which is recycled directly from the first movie: political change is hard, but we can do it, morality demands it. Gore’s passion and anger come out in his speeches, but it begins to feel like a campaign for a non-existent election. Indeed, the most memorable moment is when a Paris-based television interview is interrupted by the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan theatre. This sequence has nothing to do with the climate crisis but everything to do with being human.
I kept wishing that the clearly capable Gore would go for the kill against a climate change denier. Since we are living in an era of fake news, and a new president who revels in it, perhaps that more aggressive side of Gore will come out in the last part of the trilogy. It may not be Gore’s preferred style, but it may be what’s necessary.