A decade after the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, former senator, vice president and almost-president Al Gore returns with what has to be the worst titled movie of the year. An Inconvenient Sequel? Did someone think More Inconvenient Truth was too on the nose? And that subtitle stinks, too. Fortunately, the film is quite good, relying mainly on the still surprisingly charming Gore. (The prevailing notion that he is robotic and stiff always falls apart when face to face with the former veep.)
The movie tries to balance its apocalyptic doom and gloom with a message of hope in activism, but the summer news that Trump plans to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement certainly casts a pall over the film, which uses those landmark talks as a climactic backdrop. The movie, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (not by Davis Guggenheim, who helmed its predecessor), is far more hagiographical. Still, its catastrophic imagery is more compelling than fictional, eco-disaster features like The Day After Tomorrow and the upcoming Geostorm; the footage of a flooding Miami should send a more chilling message to deniers than even the starkest moments of glacial decay.
The film builds a firm foundation for encouraging more people to be proactive about the environment; so much power to change is generated by the scenes of the conservative Texas town of Georgetown going green. Nevertheless, this second helping of environmentalism does not have enough new and exciting facts to capture the cultural zeitgeist like its antecedent, but its familiar message is one that needs to be heard, loudly, in the current climate.