Friday, 9 May 2008

Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden? - Review by Joseph Wren

Director: Morgan Spurlock
Screenwriters: Moran Spurlock & Jeremy Chilnick
Running Time: 93 mins
Certificate: 12A
Released: 9th May

Four years after Super-Sizing himself, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock once again puts himself in harm’s way as the globe-trekking American in search of Public Enemy Number One, Osama Bin Laden. Leaving a pregnant partner at home, Spurlock grows a beard, hops on a camel, and plants himself smack dab in the middle of some very, very sensitive situations.

Within minutes of Morgan Spurlock’s second big-screen documentary, a cartoon cut-out of Osama Bin Laden dances around on the screen to the tune of MC Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This”. Like an outrageous South Park skit, the animated scene is shockingly tasteless, only unlike South Park it is completely unfunny. There’s also a video game segment, in which a CGI Spurlock battles Osama, ‘Mortal Kombat’ style. This is also not funny. To make such a mockery is one thing, but when Spurlock is on the streets in the danger zone, he acts with the earnestness and curiosity of a young American liberal backpacker. Such a slippery slope is unacceptable, and for a man who surely knows a little something about the US foreign policy in the Middle East, Spurlock occasionally acts as if he has never heard of the War on Terror.

Like Michael Moore, Spurlock plays the everyman, going to everyone and anyone for answers - searching for the Muslim perspective on Americans, and of course trying to find the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden (the ending’s a bummer). While Spurlock’s Super-Size Me was a fresh and revealing take on Fast Food Nation, his new documentary does little to explain further to audiences what Moore has already attempted in the past. WITWIOBL? clumsily tries to show that Muslims aren’t all that bad, but this message of cultural relativism comes nearly seven years too late.

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