The Big One

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy, Documentary

What a dilemma! Corporate gadfly Michael Moore's message about rapacious institutional greed and hypocrisy is powerful and thought-provoking, but Moore's the kind of self-important blowhard you run from at parties. Shot on the fly while Moore toured the U.S. (on Random House's dime) in support of his book, Downsize This!, this slapdash documentary spends...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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What a dilemma! Corporate gadfly Michael Moore's message about rapacious institutional greed and hypocrisy is powerful and thought-provoking, but Moore's the kind of self-important blowhard you run from at parties. Shot on the fly while Moore toured

the U.S. (on Random House's dime) in support of his book, Downsize This!, this slapdash documentary spends as much time showcasing Moore's abrasive buffoonery as it does examining the ways in which the ruthless pursuit of profit above all has diminished the lives of American workers and

their families. The facts and figures are on Moore's side: Corporate profits and executive salaries are up at the same time U.S. workers are seeing their jobs exported to Third World nations. America's largest employer is a temp agency. Nike executive Phil Knight insists that Americans "don't want

to make shoes" in the face of declarations by unemployed residents of Moore's Michigan hometown that they'd love to work in a Nike factory. But Moore is a blustering monster whose tone of sprightly disingenuity rings horribly false. Sure, most of his regional Random House publicity handlers

embrace a painfully shallow company line with no apparent difficulty. But you still pity them for having to deal with Moore's swagger and childish pranks. Like the poor women on whom he decides to play this funny little trick: While he sends her off to get him something to drink, he tells

security she's a stalker and shouldn't be allowed near him. Next thing she knows, she's being escorted off the premises by a uniformed guard, protesting futilely that there must have been some misunderstanding. If Moore is really bothered by people who treat their underlings as though they're less

than human, he need look no further than the man in the mirror.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: What a dilemma! Corporate gadfly Michael Moore's message about rapacious institutional greed and hypocrisy is powerful and thought-provoking, but Moore's the kind of self-important blowhard you run from at parties. Shot on the fly while Moore toured the U… (more)

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