By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Gore's 'An Inconvenient Sequel' is heavy on the politics of climate change
Al Gore appears in "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk. - photo by Josh Terry
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER 2 stars Al Gore, George W. Bush, John Kerry, Angela Merkel; PG (thematic elements and some troubling images); in general release

Coming from a man who claims to be a recovering politician, Al Gores An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power feels awfully political.

Inconvenient Sequel is the follow-up to 2006s An Inconvenient Truth, which established the former U.S. vice president as a featured voice on the issue of climate change/global warming. The new film opens with a defensive stance, playing audio of Gores critics over the top of imagery of melting glaciers.

The us vs. them stance continues throughout the films 98-minute run time, combining a variety of fact and figure sequences supporting climate change theories with accusations against those typically labeled deniers who have interfered with Gores efforts to address them.

The bad guys are pretty much who you would expect: big business, Republicans and former President George W. Bush, who canceled the launch of a special satellite designed for environmental study Gore had been involved with prior to the 2000 presidential election.

Inconvenient Sequel also makes multiple references to the Supreme Court decision that gave Bush the election nod over Gore, going so far as to share a clip of Gores own reluctant acceptance speech. Including material like this alongside a visit to Gores childhood home, where he reminisces on his beginnings in the world of politics, one wonders if Inconvenient Sequel is more of a biography of an ex-politician than an advocacy of his cherished cause.

Indeed, Inconvenient Sequel follows Gore around the world as he visits various climate leadership training seminars, always careful to note how many countries are represented by the participants. Eventually, in one of the films more interesting passages, we see Gore working behind the scenes of the Paris Climate Accord developed in late 2015. Here, Gore works hard to sway India, which has extensive plans to pursue traditional fossil fuel.

Gore had already traveled to India earlier in the film, where in one poignant scene, an Indian representative asks the former vice president why India, an impoverished, developing country, should not benefit from the same 150 years of fossil fuel use that the U.S. enjoyed. Images of smog-infested Indian cities support Gores assertion that it is already too late for that.

Its a rare moment of transparency in a film that is heavily one-sided. Inconvenient Sequel is a piece of unabashed propaganda, complete with a social media recruitment pitch over the closing credits. Its an effective articulation of Gore's perspective, but little more.

That being said, Inconvenient Sequel is at its best when it showcases the environmental successes that have taken place in the last decade, mostly in the development of renewable energy. Segments such as one that takes place in a red-state Texas town have a much more cooperative and positive tone than those that put Gores political enemies in the crosshairs, and will be far more likely to persuade skeptical audiences.

Directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk have also added a brief mention of President Donald Trumps withdrawl from the 2015 Paris agreement to the film, which debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Trump is another frequent target of the film, as you might imagine.

As Gore wistfully describes the famous Blue Pearl photo of the Earth taken from outer space, articulating his passion for protecting his home, its easy to relate, but also feel a little disappointed. There is much in Cohen and Shenks film that could bring audiences together, but Gores fixation on old political battles will limit An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Powers appeal potential.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is rated PG for thematic elements and some troubling images; running time: 98 minutes.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters