Reviewed by: Brian Nigro
“Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control”? Don’t be fooled by the title. This is as close to a child’s “show and tell” as any movie this year—four men who tinker and tweak with natural law, God’s law, for a living. A circus lion tamer, a gardener, a botanist, an engineer—and, oh yeah, lots of stock footage of old B-movies.
This is truly an “educational” movie with just as much showmanship as “Bill Nye, Science Guy” from children’s television. Considering the deluge of eye candy here, that’s not an exaggeration. Grade-school students looking for science-project inspiration, or high-school students interested in science or engineering, will really enjoy this. (It’s certainly a good book-end piece to the G-rated nature documentary, “Microcosmos,” from last year.) Most adults, though, will simply be enthralled.
A big, big plus: Caleb Sampson’s music here recalls Danny Elfman’s scores from director Tim Burton’s movies like “Mars Attacks”. If it weren’t for the campy, 1950’s B-movie instrumental soundtrack to accompany the assortment of stock footage, “Fast, Cheap” would not be as entertaining. (And, speaking of Tim Burton, anyone who remembers “Edward Scissorhands” will appreciate the gardener’s work.)
This film was funded through the hot-potato National Endowment for the Arts (it is, after all, nearly impossible for non-fiction filmmakers to get funding elsewhere for such a non-commercial project.) Concerned Christians should be aware that evolution is presented as fact in this film (otherwise, there would have been a higher Moral Rating). Other than that, there is nothing else objectionable in “Fast, Cheap.” No political agenda from director Errol Morris… No profanity, nudity, violence, or adult content. Only some scary lion-tamer sequences.
Highly recommended for all ages.