A punch to the face flush with lofty brilliance. So wrong, yet so funny. These guys are dickhe*ds, but I can't help laugh at their bravado and inventiveness.
The interstitials wedged between each big prank are done in a fun, entertaining way, making this a very unique and amusing doc*mentary. These connect-the-dot segments help push this project beyond its intent to shock and surprise. While some of the gags are harsh, they're never boring. You want to hate Andy and Mike on so many levels, yet you have to champion their work ethic.
You will cringe. The Dow Chemical prank, which serves as the centerpiece to the film, is just plain wrong. In trying to cover their tracks, Andy and Mike head to Bhopal and chat with some of those affected by the disaster. It's rather coy and showy. They want you to know they are doing "right" by their shenanigans, and its shoved down your throat. They'd be better off letting the joke stand as is. I don't want to see their "clean up in isle 5" posturing. Sometimes performance art needs to speak for itself.
Andy Bichibuam and Mike Bonanno are The Yes Men. Not to be confused with Jim Carrey's Carl Allen who says "yes" to every question ever asked of him, The Yes Men are a merry gang of pranksters who like to pose as representatives from the companies they despise. They first made their presence widely known in a 2003 doc*mentary that showcased their adventures in impersonating representatives of the World Trade Organization. Now they are back with a doc*mentary that is as equally hilarious and shocking as their first go around, if not more so. It's also a huge kick in the balls. This time out, Andy and Mike are posing as Dow Chemical Spokesmen. Andy goes on BBC and announces that the company is finally acknowledging their part in the Bhopal disaster. We get to see the aftermath of this news, which causes stock in Dow to drop by $2 billion, while simultaneously offering the people of Bhopal a sense of false hope. Our dynamic duo doesn't ever hide from what they've done. When it's discovered that they've pulled off a grand hoax, they return to BBC and explain why they've done their nasty deed. They also travel to Bhopal to talk with the locals who actually thought they were going to get compensated for their part in the disaster. It doesn't sound funny, but it's actually quite hilarious. And rude. The best gag has Mike and Andy posing as Exxon representatives. They tell an audience full of oilmen that they've created a new miracle fuel from the bodies of global warming victims. They proceed to hand out candles made of human hair, and unspool a memorial video about the guy the candles were made from. It's disgusting. And very funny. But who knows if those in attendance get the message or the joke. All of this seems to go right over their heads. Andy and Mike also try to sell Survivaballs, which would protect the rich and powerful from any natural disaster. And they pass out a fake copy of the New York Times, which doesn't sit well with those reading it. The Yes Men Fix the World is a definite must watch. And it gets a Whoop-doo!
There are quite a few extra features here, and they're all worth a look. We get twenty-six minutes of deleted scenes, which include the Nanotech Conference which explores Dow Chemical's Post Cautionary Principle, the full length BBC interview featuring Andy pretending to be a representative from that company, and a seven minute dissertation on how to become a Yes Man. Additional Actions and Videos include a 24 minute short film which has Mike and Andy posing as the World Trade Organization. This is the short that led to the production of their first feature film. Captain Euro has the boys looking at a racist comic book. RTMark: Bringing IT to YOU is a promotional clip from 1996 that looks at a fake corporation in charge of cover-ups. The Most Serious Game finds the duo posing as McDonalds representatives trying to revamp their fast food image. Making (Up) the News takes a look at how the Yes Men created an alternative New York Times and how they went about distributing it. There are a couple of trailers, some fairly entertaining filmmaker bios (for those who like to read), and a declaration on the Docurama Films initiative. This is a pretty neat little package and makes owning the disc worth the price.
The film is presented in the full frame aspect ratio of 1.33: 1. In Color. The runtime is one hour and twenty-seven minutes. The film is not rated, but there is nothing offensive in the material (well, maybe some of it is morally offensive).
The film is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are no subtitles, so deaf kids start weeping now.
This image definitely peaks my interest. We see Andy and Mike's insect-like Survivaballs bouncing around in the desert toting title banners that shimmy in the wind. Our dynamic duo stare out into abyss, worried. They don't seem to know how to fix the world, but they're going to try. The back of the disc continues on with the Survivaball imagery. What the heck am I looking at? I want to know more. And the synopsis sounds intriguing. I am renting this.
THE FINAL WORD
The Yes Men Fix the World is Jackass for the corporate suave set. Sure, these guys are c*cky. And some of their pranks are a little too cruel for their own good, but its funny sh*t. You should definitely check it out.
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