Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
|Featuring:||Kevin P. Farley
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“The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!,” “Airplane!,” “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear”
|Producer:||Mpower Pictures, Mike Ades, Stephen McEveety, Tim Moore, John Shepherd, Myrna Sokoloff, David Zucker|
“Laugh like your country depends on it.”
It is no small irony that “An American Carol” came out on the same day as the anti-Christian, atheistic propaganda film “Religulous.” Jewish filmmaker David Zucker has said that he is tired of all the Christian-bashing in popular culture, and, to that end, he decided it was time for a film that would poke fun at the far left in America. He calls this film “the opposite of the Bill Maher movie.” Of course, “An American Carol” is really about politics, not religion, but because the far left despises religion, there are many references to Christianity, the Ten Commandments, and the like in the film. One scene shows a Rosie O'Connell repeating verbatim Rosie O'Donnell remarks that “radical Christians are as dangerous as radical Muslims.” She then shows a “documentary” of a nun rushing about a bus shouting “Hail Mary” and blowing herself up! Obviously, the film is mocking the absurdities of people like Rosie O'Donnell, but mostly the film mocks pro-Communist filmmaker Michael Moore.
Kevin P. Farley, the brother of Chris Farley, looks perfect for the role of Michael Malone. One would hardly be able to tell the two apart from a distance. Kelsey Grammer portrays General Patton. “An American Carol” also features a somewhat long list of cameos from Leslie Nielson, Jon Voight, Paris Hilton, James Wood, Dennis Hopper, Gary Coleman, and country music star Trace Adkins. For those who don’t remember, David Zucker is the man who brought us the “Airplane” and “Naked Gun” movies.
The film begins in Afghanistan where terrorist are plotting to disrupt an election. The terrorist calls out for a man named “Mohammad,” about a hundred men pop their heads up and answer “yes.” Following a failed terrorist attack, the leader decides they need to recruit new suicide bombers, as “all the best ones are dead.” They then decide that hiring a Hollywood director to make their recruiting film would be the best option. The scene then cuts to Michael Malone “on the tropic paradise of Cuba.” While Malone is extolling the virtues of Cuba over America, one person is shot in the background. Later, Malone decides it would be a good idea to abolish July 4th. What follows is the attempt of the Ghost of George Patton to reform our anti-American filmmaker in the tradition of “A Christmas Carol”. Along the way, the film pokes fun at the ACLU, Movealong.org (Moveon.org), Rosie O'Donnell, and other far left groups.
As with most David Zucker comedies, there is an ample supply of crude humor. There are sexual jokes, including a couple implying homosexual sex is taking place in a bathroom (it isn’t), a promiscuous woman allegedly has sex with dozens of men, and some other sexual/homosexual jokes. There is some brief nudity, as a man is forced to have a rectal, body cavity search before being allowed on an airplane. There are at least thirty obscene cuss words, most of which are the s___ word, whose vulgarity is increased by the fact that many of these words come out of the mouths of children! Surprisingly, there is also quite a bit of violence. This is most evident when Patton attempts to protect a court of law from an invasion of Zombie Lawyers (who work for the ACLU). The zombies are shot with shotguns, and there is blood shown squirting out of their bodies. Slapstick violence is also prevalent.
Now, considering all of this, one must decide if the film is worth seeing. The answer depends on your own political and spiritual convictions. The film was not screened in advance for critics, because Zucker knew that the liberal media (which will praise the movie “W.” and likes “Religilous”) would “kill” the film. Support for this movie will certainly not change the left wing media, but could show that Christians and conservatives should not be ignored. The film is amusing, but not up to Zucker’s early works. It is, however, an improvement over his last few films. There were cheers and applause following the movie, so the film will definitely strike a cord with many. Nevertheless, I would caution against taking young children. Teenagers have certainly heard far worse in this day and age. I enjoyed “An American Carol” and was glad to see Zucker getting back to basics. It was also nice to see a film that respects America coming from Hollywood. I give the film 3½ stars. It is not Zucker’s best work, but it might be his most important work (if a slapstick comedy can be considered important). Certainly, it is his most courageous film, given Hollywood’s perchance for blacklisting conservatives. I wish Zucker the best of luck.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.