‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ Retro Review


I felt a twinge of familiarity when the latest documentary from divisive film maker Michael Moore. The opening sequence plays out in an identical fashion to Bowling for Columbine. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose…the man has a unique style and it’s worked well for him in the past. About ten minutes later I picked up something else unusual – a montage scored with the same “ironic” track that was used in a montage in Bowling For Columbine. Then they started using stock footage from Roger and Me. By this time things were starting to feel quite lazy.

Unlike most people I don’t dismiss Michael Moore for being ‘biased’. This is because he’s a documentary film-maker, and he’s not obliged, or expected, to be unbiased but to present a point of view. This is done extremely well. He knows that provoking an emotional response from the viewer is going to succeed where a logical argument would bore. He weaves real cases with historical evidence and shows himself taking action against the perceived wrongs of society. Most importantly, he’s always been passionate and driven in his causes.

This time around it feels as though his heart isn’t really in it. He frequently recycles not just soundtrack and techniques from his previous films and television shows, but a surprising amount of footage. His trademark confrontations with big businesses and politicians comes of as routine as he rolls up to skyscrapers and gets turned away. His climatic move of wrapping some crime scene tape around the banks is met with no actual response at all. Worst of all, the movie is kinda boring. After injecting humour into the issues of gun control and the failing U.S. health system you’d think he could raise a chuckle with capitalism.

FOUR outta TEN