Zucker’s An American Carol

October 15th, 2008 | by Sqotty |

David Zucker’s new film, “An American Carol” is a look at the life a liberal documentary film-maker who is visited by a series of American Spirits who teach him what patriotism is. After seeing the trailers and various film clips, I really wanted to see this film, and had high expectations. Although the film was pretty good, it did not live up to expectations based on the released clips.

Liberal film-maker Michael Malone (Kevin Farley) wants to abolish the Fourth of July, and he has a plan to achieve it. Meanwhile, a group of terrorists having trouble with their own plots decide to higher Malone to make a new recruitment video for them. Malone has a nephew in the navy who is preparing to ship out for a tour of duty in the Gulf region. From there, it goes on to visitations by John F. Kennedy, followed by a tour led by General Patton, and further spectral appearances of George Washington and the Angel of Death.

Some the important high-points. All of the cast members turned in good performances; it was the script that was weak in places. Kevin Farley as Michael Malone gave a tremendous parody of Michael Moore. Farley was as convincing as he was funny. Kelsey Grammer as Patton? Okay, this is hard to swallow when you normally envision George C. Scott as Patton. But it works. Grammer may not have the same gravely voice as Scott, but he comes up with a decent attitude of his own and portrays the general pretty well, as he attempts to beat, or at least slap, some sense into Michael Malone and teach him the meaning of Patriotism.

The three terrorists were a hoot, with two of them providing some very good comedy relief, which is an odd concept in itself as this is a comedy. They have a hilarious routine in the men’s room during the film’s climax. It’s actually one of the funniest routines in the film.

The film also has some important history lessons, like Kennedy’s Inaugural Address and the “war resolutions clause” in which Kennedy said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Important stuff.

There was also a bit about Neville Chamberlain’s signing an agreement with Hitler as part of the prelude to World War 2, and proclaiming “peace in our time.”

I also really liked what they did with the ACLU: they were zombies, and there was a zombie shoot in a court room as the ACLU zombies attempted to hamstring our government and allow terrorists to have a freehand to carry out their evil acts. Zombies = lawyers. Works for me.

Some of the things that didn’t work for me: Malone’s nephew has a a son named Tiny Tim, who is crippled…okay, this fits the overall concept as they lifted elements from “A Christmas Carol.” but they went on too far with that angle with the nephew having a lot of children, all of whom have some sort of debilitating handicap. It was over done. Some of the other jokes didn’t work as well. At least not for me. The Axis dictators singing “Kumbaya” also didn’t work for me. Not sure why, it just didn’t seem to fit. But that’s my opinion. No doubt there are other people who thought it was funny.

Despite some of the things that didn’t work for me, I found “An American Carol” to be a fun flick to see. It may not be a great movie, but it is pretty good. Another point to be said in its favor: the Left absolutely hates this film. For that reason, if nothing else, you should go see it. During the matinee time.

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