Love him or hate him (and I admit that I unabashedly love him), no one can argue that filmmaker Michael Moore has not created some of the most entertaining and thought-provoking movies of the past twenty-five years; and his latest, Where to Invade Next, is one of his best.
If you lean to the right then I’m sure there’s nothing I’m going say here that is going to sway your hateful opinion of Moore and his liberal activism, but that’s a shame, because Where to Invade Next is an evenhanded and insightful film that everyone can learn something from and that will provide you with a few giggles in the process. Why deprive yourself?
The rotund muckraker humorously gives the Pentagon and our military boys a well-deserved break as he takes it upon himself to lead the next U.S. invasions of foreign countries – not for their oil or other resources, but for their cultural ideals, most of which trend towards fostering happier and healthier citizens than we have here in ‘Merica.
Moore travels to Norway, Finland, Italy, France and even the Muslim country of Tunisia, and examines the ways in which they take care of their own by providing their populace with universal healthcare, free education, extended vacation time and equal rights.
You’ll find yourself asking the question, as Moore does, “If other countries can do these things, why can’t we?” But the filmmaker shies away from directly answering that query. He’s been there and done that too many times and is probably tired of the backlash, so instead he allows our absurd self-destructive nature to speak for itself.
Speaking of being tired, Moore seems even more haggard and worn than usual in this film. He’s been fighting the good fight for a long time now, often going where others fear to tread, and while watching this movie I actually found myself as concerned for his welfare as I was for our own country’s.
Without Moore, who’s going to be left to boldly point out the fallacies of our broken democracy? There’s certainly no one who can do it as amusingly as this maligned and disheveled everyman from Michigan.
In the end, Moore reminds us that the liberal policies that make these other countries more human-friendly all originated in the United States, but somewhere along the way capitalism and greed got in the way of caring for our people. Along with The Big Short, Where to Invade Next is one of the most important and entertaining movies of the past year. Grade: 9/10