‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ arrives over a year too late

Remember the outrage back in May when President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord?

Well, that decision not only angered environmentalists, it robbed “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” of what should have been its climax.

Regardless of whether you believe in climate change, you should be able to agree that the follow-up to the Oscar-winning 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” that hits theaters Friday is arriving over a year too late.

It was nearing its expiration date when it debuted Jan. 19 as the opening-night screening of this year’s Sundance Film Festival and the centerpiece of The New Climate, the fest’s inaugural program of conversations, films and virtual-reality experiences about environmental change and conservation.

As former Vice President Al Gore meets with other world leaders, works the phones and calls in favors, “An Inconvenient Sequel” slowly builds to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. When the accord finally passes after plenty of debate and backroom dealings, the Eiffel Tower is lit up with celebratory slogans. It’s a triumphant moment for the self-described “recovering politician.” Then directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk cut to footage of Gore’s seeing the news that Trump is ordering America’s exit from the agreement.

Strictly from a moviegoing standpoint, it’s the equivalent of watching “Star Wars,” the Death Star’s just been destroyed, R2’s beeping and booping away, then Darth Vader proclaims, “We’ve got another Death Star. And this one’s the best Death Star. It’s the classiest Death Star. And it’s huge.”

The filmmakers do what they can to salvage “An Inconvenient Sequel,” but its impact already is lessened. Instead, there’s a tacked-on ending in which Gore compares the fight for the environment to the struggles for abolition, women’s suffrage, civil rights and LGBTQ equality. He’s trying to say that history will show environmentalists were on the right side of a long battle. While it’s not offensive, per se, it clangs off the ears.

As a movie, “An Inconvenient Sequel” doesn’t feel as alarmist as its predecessor. Sure, Gore is still presenting that darned slideshow from “An Inconvenient Truth.” But it’s a little jazzier now, and he’s showing it in front of thousands of trainees representing more than a hundred countries at sessions around the world.

Gore also gets out of the lecture halls and spends more time with his boots on the ground, on crumbling ice and in floodwaters. He’s on a glacier in Greenland, where parts of the Jakobshavn Glacier are shown exploding because of the heat. He’s standing in water up to his shins, talking about rising sea levels with Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. He’s in China, India and Tacloban, Philippines, where a typhoon killed more than 6,000 people and left millions homeless.

And, for those of you wondering about all that travel, there’s a statement in the closing credits that reads, “The emissions from producing this film were offset with NativeEnergy, Inc.” The Vermont-based company provides carbon offsets and renewable energy credits to companies including eBay, Ben & Jerry’s and National Geographic.

There aren’t many voices of dissent in “An Inconvenient Sequel.” There rarely are in issue-based documentaries. It begins with numerous derogatory soundbites about the original movie, including one from Glenn Beck comparing Gore’s making an accurate movie about climate change to Joseph Goebbels making an accurate movie about Germany. But that’s about as far as that goes.

Gore does stop in to check on Mayor Dale Ross of Georgetown, Texas, whose city gets 90 percent of its power from renewable energy. Ross, a staunch Republican who convinces Gore to pose for a photo in front of the local GOP headquarters, boasts that Georgetown is the reddest city in the reddest county in Texas. But he led the changeover to renewables because he’s a CPA and wants to save his taxpayers money.

Gore also visits the Silicon Valley headquarters of SolarCity, which was forced to eliminate more than 550 Nevada jobs when less favorable rates for the state’s solar customers took effect Jan. 1, 2016. Meanwhile, as part of a segment showcasing alternative energy use around the world, moviegoers see a solar panel on a grass hut in Africa. So, yeah, for the past 18 months, it’s been more difficult to use the sun to power a house in Nevada than an African dwelling that could be toppled by a strong breeze.

Through it all, “An Inconvenient Sequel” presents Gore as a Don Quixote figure, rushing not at windmills but toward wind farms.

This clearly isn’t how the man who was very nearly president saw his life playing out. Although he seems not only at peace with his new direction, but energized by it.

“I had a detailed plan for my life,” Gore admits in the film. “But life had a different plan for me.”

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like