Yes Men Fix the World is much less a documentary than it is an attemptat comedy in the spirit of Borat or Dog Bites Man. The two principalsare hoaxters who pass themselves off as government or corporatespokesman on television or at conferences, focusing on the UnionCarbide disaster in Bhopal,India and Hurricane Katrina.
Most of the entertainment comes with the ease at which they are invitedto speak publicly, the shock and shtick of their outrageous speech andpresentation, and the subsequent discovery of the hoax. They pull offthe deception masterfully and, save for the odd inquisitive reporter orgenuinely interested attendee, their audiences are either amused,confused or completely uninterested.
What is distracting and ultimately confusing about the film is theirmodus operandi and their justification for their actions. It is hard totell if they are carnival barkers just out to make a buck at theexpense of unsuspecting corporate types and television anchors or theyare genuine activists using this medium to draw attention to causesthey think deserve it.
If it is the former, we can credit them for pulling a fast one but thegag from revealing their props and proposals wears off rather quickly.That they only complete four pranks makes for a lot of unfunny fillermaterial. Also, if humor is the intent, it is a very preachy humor inwhich corporations and, strangely enough, economist Milton Friedman aredemonized and simplistic moral outrage is celebrated.
If it is the latter, they seem to be blissfully unaware of the impact(and slight hypocrisy) of raising the hopes of victims of a tragedy inthe name of sheer attention. And it may have been inconveniently timedthat they chose to focus on Friedman's quotes on crises being thecatalyst for change in a year that the White House chief of staff wasquoted making the same points.
What we get is a short collection of pranks, not as juvenile as Boratbut not as subtle as Dog Bites Man, with some interesting audiencereactions and a self-righteous tone ("We didn't lie, we told thetruth") If your political views are left of center you most likelyenjoy this movie more than center and center-right folks. While Ebertis my only movie review source, given his political views I wasn't toosurprised he gave three stars to such a mediocre film.
I know, I know, that was a lame review title. Get over it.
I could go on and on about these guys but the simple truth is : theyare simply great people. As a regular dude, how many times do you findyourself watching TV filled with stuff you get sick of ? My lucky guesswould be plenty and I'd be probably far off.
Those two guys did funny pranks but the most brilliants ones are thoseyou feel deserved by their targets. Some major company loose a ton ofmoney because of a fake statement that would grant due money to workersin India. In the end, they hit where it hurts the most, money.
And the beauty of this film isn't just the pranks, it's why it works inthe world we live in. It doesn't mater if they bring a golden skeletonto describe profit over factory workers deaths, you realize thatwhatever they would bring, someone will be interested as long as itmeans money.
They might be crazy but the people they meet during fake presentationsare sick, and they are powerful people. Thats world business grotesqueat it's best for you.
I'd definitively put this on "must watch" list if you happen to wonderour state of evolution sometimes, just to be sure.
No Spoilers in this Review, because its a Must-watch & worth watchingfilm.
Some people calling the film consists of pranks, hoaxes! Then what ucall something like the Great WMDs in Iraq, man landing on Moon!, Stockmarkets!....
Since a long time I have been following all the GREAT news channels,all their Breaking News etc... In the Hope that may be one day I may beable to hear a GOOD Breaking News.
But, I realized that it will never happen. The Media is a Stage forJokers called Politicians and all the Hypocrites, to engage the Peoplein their worthless bulletins saying the they will Save Mother Nature,Planet Earth and Make the entire Universe a Great Place to live in withAll Smiling faces around!!
People, wake up to Reality.
I watched many Documentaries on Capitalism, Environmental, Politicalissues & many Conspiracy theories! But, The Yes Men Fix the World(2009) is Above all of them.... Its the Truth.
I was on the edge of my seat watching this film. It is veryInformative, thought provoking & Entertaining.
Despite the fact that some people seem to feel that it is cruel tostate that Dow Chemical accepts full responsibility for the Bhopalcatastrophe, or that HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment) wants to give former inhabitants of houses in New Orleansback their apartments, the affected people don't seem to think so.They're happy that people bring attention to their problem, and doingso by adding humor to it is often what is needed in a dour politicalclimate such as these examples show, when multi-national corporationsrule international business and - indeed - politics for most part.
Much like Bill Hicks showed us, adding humor as spice often bringsattention to the facts. The Yes Men were sharper in their previousfilm, but this one is still very valid as they continue to show thedangers of a free market taking over interests only to make as muchmoney for their shareholders as is possible, not existing in theinterest for the state at all.
The Yes Men are back... and this time, their leftist guerrilla tacticsprove much more effective than the first time around: The cinematicpresentation is more professional, the pace is much livelier, thepranks are more elaborate and there is more additional backgroundinformation and emotional resonance.
Still, some of the hoaxes remain childish and some new aspects onglobalization bashing would be welcome, but all in all it's more thanwatchable stuff. (And the final stunt involving a famous newspaper iswonderful.)
7 out of 10 gilded skeletons
About ten year ago,I had the pleasure of attending an evening ofpolitical humour in Hartford,Ct. One of the performances was half of apair of pranksters known as The Yes Men (both were supposed to be inattendance that night,but only Andy Bichlbaum was present,as MikeBonnano was home in bed that night,sick with the flu). Andy spoke oftheir pranks,especially disrupting the W.T.O. conference,posing as theCEO's of a financial firm. He screened a video of the prank. I,sufficeit to say,was in awe. Some years later,the first Yes Men film made it'sdebut,which I was impressed with. Now,some years later, the second filmis here. The documentary focuses on some of the pranks that they'vepulled since then. Among the standouts,Andy Bichlbaum made anappearance on BBC,posing as a executive from Dow Chemical,making theannouncement that Dow is finally taking responsibility for the 1984Union Carbide chemical lead disaster in Bhopal,India (which ofcourse,never happened,but it did cause Dow to take a major drop intheir shareholders on Wall Street),as well as their posing as membersof HUD (Housing & Urban Development),appearing in New Orleans,justafter Hurricane Katrina,with the promise that HUD was finally going todo something about rebuilding there. Bichlbaum & Bonnano share creditfor writing & directing this scathing,but funny documentary about twomen who have a penchant for pranking people that they don't like much.Passing resemblance's to the films of Michael Moore,as well as a ratherobscure fake documentary (mockumentary?)called 'Czech Dreams' from afew years back will be noticed. Not rated by the MPAA,this film has arude word or two & some mild adult situations that would probably flyover the heads of children.User: guyfroml
It has been many years since I have laughed so hard and for so long tothe point where I risked sending myself into cardiac arrest. Let me sayup front I'm a strong conservative and I realize these guys are aboutas liberal as they come - but at least I give them credit for realizingthat humor is the best tool to attack the opposition.
Having been involved in many political campaigns as an analyst, I'veoften criticized liberals for having an angry and bitter disposition toanyone who thinks differently. I didn't see that in Andy and Mike. Theycome across as good natured, which as a conservative I can then alwaysrespect their opinion - even if I disagree.
Their pranks demonstrate just how gullible many in government and themedia are - not to mention plain stupid. Being from Louisiana I cantell you it wasn't a difficult challenge to dupe the likes of a RayNagin (mayor of New Orleans) and Kathleen Blanco (at the time governorof Louisiana). But then, the scene where they get a respectedbusinessman into a terrorist protective suit that looks like an obesecockroach with Halliburton stamped on the side takes "pranking" to anew level. Absolutely priceless!
Andy and Mike, I might not agree with your politics, but I love yourmethodology of promoting your position. I can't wait to see the nextpranks you pull.