All reviews by Stafford Christensen.
Film is a powerful but subjective medium; this is a personal take on movies both classic and contemporary....
Saturday, July 2, 2011
An American Carol (2008)
Not The Film That Conservatives Were Hoping For
- A film like An American Carol is a welcomed comedic spoof for conservative Americans and, if you think about it, was a long time coming due to the lack of a conservative point of view on the War on Terror in Hollywood. Taking on the Michael Moore anti-American crowd, An American Carol incorporates David Zucker's comedy style (Airplane (1980), Naked Gun (1988)) into a somewhat clever twist on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".... Three American spirits visit anti-American filmmaker Michael Malone (not a direct copy of Michael Moore, Malone is likable and has an innocent disposition) who wants to abolish the 4th of July.
Unfortunately, An American Carol is not a hard hitting, hilarious, or important film - it more or less just preaches to the conservative converted in Zucker's goofy way. Still, it does have enough fun gags and performances to speak to its target audience well.
Recognizable faces fill the screen in An American Carol. Comedian Kevin Farley (Chris Farley's brother) is a good lead, pretty funny and just working very well as the mock version of Michael Moore. Former Bond baddie (in Licence To Kill (1989)) Robert Davi shows again how much of a chameleon character actor he is as the terrorist Aziz, Jon Voight gives a fairly serious turn as George Washington, and there are plenty of humorous cameos from Leslie Nielson, Dennis Hopper, James Woods - even Bill O'Reilly shows up. Kelsey Grammar is especially enjoyable in the film as General George Patton, who acts as sort of the Ghost of American Past. Grammar is a great actor and has an impeccable comedic ability (as if everyone did not already know that after 20 years of Frasier) - the film greatly benefits from his presence.
Since the film is an over-the-top slapstick David Zucker spoof, many of the gags throughout the film are just not funny and keel over and die a horrible death on delivery. Also, the film goes too far a couple of times and becomes not only unfunny but offensive, such as the scene were Michael Malone is taken to a "what if" scenario on a Southern plantation. But the film's successful gags, sarcastic jabs at leftist attitudes, entertaining performances, and featured country music are consistently amusing and enough to satisfy the average card carrying Republican.
An American Carol is wacky fun overall for conservative American viewers but the Fox News crowd is still waiting for a hard-hitting hilarious political satire.