Sunday, August 24, 2008

MOVIE: WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?



Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? is a documentary film, conceived by Adam Dell and co-written, produced, directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker.

When Spurlock learns that he and his wife are expecting a baby, he decides that he wants the child to grow up in a safer world than we know today, so he takes it upon himself to track down the most dangerous man on Earth, Osama bin Laden. Spurlock hops on a plane and flies to the Middle East in search of his quarry, making stops in Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as he keeps an eye peeled for the head of Al Qaeda.

When he isn't playing sleuth, Spurlock interviews people representing all walks of life, ranging from Orthodox Israeli enclaves and a mosque operated by rabidly anti-American Muslims to political moderates and ordinary folks at the supermarket, quizzing them about the nature of post-9/11 conflict and the need for peace.


Spurlock goes from McDonald's to Terrorism and with it a big leap from entertaining to serious. Where In The World's trailer and poster would have you believe that it's going to be just like Super Size Me. Filled with humor and an entertaining look at things. Indeed, Where In The World does start off with some humor. Watching an animated Spurlock fight Osama in a video game like environment while a theme song based on the title plays in the background is funny for about a second. Thankfully, the humor and animation go away after the first 20 minutes. The movie then switches to being serious.

When Spurlock was making Super Size Me, he made it as entertaining as possible since he himself was at the center of the movie and had free will of what to do. As over the top as Super Size Me was, it still worked as a documentary while still being entertaining. Michael Moore does the same thing to greater effect with much heavier subjects. Spurlock puts himself at the center again, along with his pregnant wife, but doesn't make himself the main attraction. After all, Osama is in the title and he should get top billing.

Where In The World isn't really about finding Osama and Spurlock knows that. I think he used it as a gimmick to get the film made and I'm sure he didn't have a problem getting financing for a documentary with that kind of title. Spurlock is more interested in the people of the middle east. Getting to talk to the people that Osama has affected in Osama's own turf. Spurlock asks a lot of basic questions but gets revealing and interesting answers from the people. Spurlock also doesn't use a lot of gimmicks like he did in Super Size Me, except for the ending of the film, which is really cheesy. Spurlock also goes through the film looking like a crazed mountain man and I'm not sure why.

Where In The World doesn't really tell us anything that we don't already know about the middle east but does show some revealing sides about the people that a lot of Americans think are the enemies when they are anything but. Where In The World would be a great film to show to a high school class that is just getting to know what the middle east is and to better understand peace in the middle east.

Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?: 6 out of 10

The DVD has no special features.


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