Does anyone besides me love those old spoof movies like Airplane and Naked Gun? Does anyone like those horrible spoof movies trying to replicate that in the past few years? Do you like Gladiator Movies? If you answered yes to the first, no to the second, and recognized the third joke, then An American Carol is for you. The movie is not up to comedy gold standard with Airplane, yet isn’t anywhere near some of the (Insert Genre Here) Movies, but is still a great time at the movies. The movie follows Leslie Nielsen, who is telling the story of Micheal Malone, a hated documentary director who is totally anti-American. Actually there are two different plot lines in this movie. One if of Malone, and then the other is of a group of terrorists who come to Malone, wanting him to direct a promotional video for their suicide bombers. All the while, Malone is trying to be recognized for greatness as an Anti-American, including trying to abolish July 4th. Malone is visited by three ghosts of America’s past, includng George S. Patton, John F. Kennedy, and George Washington. Trace Adkins is even thrown into the mix for some reason, and yet it’s still funny. That really describes the whole movie. Doesn’t make sense, but hilarious. If you’re a fan of any of the Zucker movies, you’ll like this. The movie has plenty of slapstick and dumb humor, but you can’t go into the movie expecting brilliant comedy. You have to have an acquired taste for Zucker films. I laughed out loud several times in the movie, DS… not as much. One thing the movie really centers around is this political theme. The main character hates America, and works for suicide bombers. There are boodles of jokes shot at conservatives, country music fans, muslims, republicans, democrats, pro-war supporters, anti-war supporters, etc. If you go into this movie as an avid political person and you’re so uptight about it that you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t even watch movies, more the less this one. Sure I have certain opinions and convictions about the war and our country, but that didn’t stop me from having a GREAT time with this film. In the end the characters reach a conclusion that I’m sure will offend some people, and I’m ok with it. The movie isn’t meant to be some diehard political scapegoat, it’s meant to have a fun time with a serious subject, and that’s what makes it fun. Kevin Farley, the brother of the late Chris Farley, is spot on in the film, as is Kelsey Grammar, Jon Voight, and others as well. Several of the jokes are hilarious, but some sometimes fall flat. Also, the political undertone sometimes over powers the comedy, which is something that you usually don’t expect with a Zucker film. Some of the funniest moments in the film come from some of the most controversial subjects. Take for instance the jokes aimed at how security’s been ramped up at airports, “Rosie O’ Connell” points out how the “Radical Christians” are the same thing, and a clip show is shown of how “It’s because of those Radical Christians!” that all of these measures are taken. Also, in one of the trips with the ghosts, Malone goes to his alternate, anti-war home where he has several slaves, which was also slap-your-knee hilarious. Overall, I can’t recommend this movie to everyone. If you’re a Zucker fan like myself that enjoys dumb comedy and doesn’t take politics too seriously, then go see it. If you’re one of these fans of movies like Juno and the “smart snooty comedy” and are a die-hard politician, don’t. I guarantee though if you’re the right kind of person, this is definitely a great Friday night out.
4 out of 5