Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden



Rated: PG-13 for some strong language
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: April 18, 2008 Released by: The Weinstein Company

Morgan Spurlock's follow-up to his artful Super Size Me shows that he isn't as politically lucid as Michael Moore though maybe less irritable.

Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? thrives on ambition and self-indulgence as the rather unctuous documentarian (also putting his stamp on reality small-screen ventures) isn't quite thrilled about being a daddy in a post 9/11 world.

The poster for the film suggests a satire of the likes of Raiders of the Lost Ark as Spurlock finds himself on a trek in various parts of the world from Israel to Afghanistan. However, Iran and Iraq weren't on his itinerary.

The director comes across like a PC game character finding frustration when visiting an Egyptian classroom, as he gradually sketches out the conflict in the Middle East. It takes awhile for things to really get going as his mannerisms clash with irony that he continually meets. The problems at the West Bank between Palestine and Israel are nothing new, one hears about U.S. as a world power with a Starbucks in clear view. Spurlock even poses as a local where in an agora or mall to converse, often with women, about the whereabouts of "the world's most wanted man".

There is some amusement to be had, whether in animated presentation, or hip-hop talk or music. But, this way of engaging through pop-culture references, obsession with wrestling or action with a robot, comes across as arch and insincere. The snippets into the denizens just calls more attention to an arrogance as Spurlock makes it all friendly for those who don't watch the likes of CNN or have no clue of what's going on in the Middle East. There's a nice plug for Babe, but this glib survey is hardly delicious or insightful as someone uncomfortably looks for comedy in a perilous Muslim world.

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