An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is a documentary which examines the state of the global environmental crisis, and follows the efforts of Al Gore – a famous US political figure turned environmentalist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 – to educate the masses.
Within seconds of the documentary starting I was drawn in. I had chills and was excited to see what the rest of the film had in store. The opening scene was a powerful statement that took the clichéd line of “the ice caps are melting” and proved it is a frightening and impacting reality.
Cleverly, Gore then compared the commentary of the sceptics of the first ‘Inconvenient Truth’ film with images proving them wrong and his predictions right. It helped to authenticate Gore’s original claims, making the audience of the sequel less likely to throw aside his new claims as being dramatised.
As far as environmental facts and content goes, the documentary was extremely successful. The facts shared were extremely persuasive and showed the urgent need for change. The images of floods, ice-caps and disaster were certainly breath-taking, and the facts and statistics were explained in such clarity that it will make you look at the person next to you with fear and even occasionally whisper profanities as the stark reality hits you.
Unfortunately, the powerful message portrayed throughout the first film and through the facts and images in the second one lost their impact because of unnecessary side stories relating to Gore’s life. The documentary ended up being more of a biography of Al Gore and a promotion of his achievements than a warning about the state of the environment.
There was an array of unnecessary montages and scenes of Gore meeting people, taking selfies and standing around which took away from the power of the environmental message and slowed the film’s tempo. Halfway in, I found myself Googling the duration of the film as I was starting to get irritated by the sound of Gore’s voice.
Gore’s moving speeches became emotionally draining as they continued throughout the documentary, each one making the ones after it a little less impactful as the tactic became more overused. We were shown a large range of snippets from various speeches that missed the lead-up, leaving the whole thing feeling quite disjointed and hard to relate too. Furthermore, the music choice would have been fitting for a thriller, which added to the over-dramatised feeling of the whole thing.
Overall, the documentary, whilst informative, did not have the impact the first film; it ended up being a film about Al Gore and his life. Furthermore, the film switched between so many different activities – from discussions with India to behind the scenes at a 24-hour filming in Paris – that I wasn’t able to connect with any of them.