Bowling for Columbine
Before we get into the film, I should reveal that I do have a slight bias when it comes to the issue of gun control. That bias is important context for this review, so I'll take a brief moment to reveal it here: I would like to be the one who pries the gun out of Charlton Heston's cold, dead hands.
It's also my firm belief that the NRA is devoid of character, morality or shame, and has been holding this country hostage with its members' frothing commitment to every word of the Second Amendment but the phrase "well-regulated." I'm surprised at the NRA's silence on the DC sniper case only because I expected them to ask the sniper to reveal himself so they could nominate him as a presidential candidate.
Here's a nightmare presidential candidate for gun nuts: Mr. Cranky. To those of you who fear that President Cranky's aggressive gun-control policies would send us down a slippery slope to a complete government revocation of the right to bear arms, I say grease up, because I'd have federal stormtroopers anally inspecting assault rifle owners so fast they wouldn't have time to reload. Then I'd get out a big black Sharpie and change the Second Amendment ("amendments" are a reflection of the fact that constitutions can "change") and replace "right to bear arms" with "right to minority lesbian whale scholarships" wherever I find it. Then I'd sit back and wait for the NRA to call, and when they did, I'd pick up the phone and yell, "So how do you like them apples, BITCH?"
So, given my modest leanings, you'd think I'd enjoy Michael Moore's politically correct take on the issue. Alas, no. In fact, the issue is part of the problem, as Moore seems to delight in finding a moral point of view he can pound into his audience over and over again with an increasingly heavy hand. It's all spelled out as he tells you what he's going to tell you (guns are bad), tells it to you (guns are bad -- watch these people get shot), then tells you what he just told you (guns are bad). Letting the audience draw its own conclusions is apparently far too dangerous.
Additionally, Moore seems to have caught some sort of left-wing attention deficit disorder as the topic runs from guns to racism to American foreign policy to media bias to class division to nationalized health care to killer bees. He also seems to be losing his timing for when to be funny and when to be sober: This film has ample doses of both, but I'm still not sure a South Park cartoon and a Chris Rock routine fit between clips of a high school massacre. This is probably not the best format for a wacky celebrity walk-on.
To spread the word about this Bowling for Columbine review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.