In “An In­con­ve­nient Se­quel,” Al Gore con­tin­ues to take on global warm­ing

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Michael O’Sul­li­van Jensen Walker, pro­vided by Para­mount Pic­tures

★★¼5

In a time when cli­mate change seems an is­sue more vi­tal than ever — es­pe­cially as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion moves to dis­man­tle pro­grams meant to slow global warm­ing and with­draws from global en­vi­ron­men­tal part­ner­ships — it is odd to find one­self in the po­si­tion of say­ing this: The new doc­u­men­tary about Al Gore’s con­tin­ued cli­mate cru­sade lacks ur­gency.

It’s not the fault of the for­mer vice pres­i­dent, who con­tin­ues — with fer­vor — his cam­paign to school peo­ple about global warm­ing, but a weak­ness of the film, “An In­con­ve­nient Se­quel: Truth to Power.” A fol­low-up to Davis Guggen­heim’s Os­car-win­ning 2006 doc­u­men­tary, the se­quel by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk cov­ers much of the same ground of the first film, but with a tone that feels, at times, mid­way be­tween a sense of res­ig­na­tion and de­spair. Those emo­tions might not be en­tirely for­eign to Gore him­self, who speaks, in the film, of his frus­tra­tion and his strug­gle to re­main hope­ful in the face of po­lit­i­cal in­er­tia (or out­right backpedal­ing).

As in the first film, Cohen and Shenk fol­low Gore as he takes his cli­mate-ed­u­ca­tion road show around the world, in­ter­spers­ing clips of his pub­lic talks about cli­mate sci­ence with more pri­vate mo­ments in which he speaks of his emo­tions. More de­press­ing even than the im­ages of eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter that the film traf­fics in — in­clud­ing scenes of floods in Mi­ami and glacier loss in Green­land — is Gore’s dis­mal, but prob­a­bly ac­cu­rate, as­sess­ment of what needs to be done be­fore we can save the planet:

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