Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? (*)
Those under the impression that vulgarity is the exclusive domain of the right wing need only watch the first few minutes of Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary, Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?, during which a computer-generated Osama bops across the screen to the tune of MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” Much more than Michael Moore, Spurlock is the left’s shock jock. He’ll do anything to get you to notice him and to prove a vague political point (such as stuffing himself with McDonald’s for a month, as he did in Super Size Me)—but once he’s got you looking, all he can think to do is another trick.
In Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? Spurlock goes to “some pretty scary places” in search of the Al Qaeda head honcho. Preliminary scenes show him getting a bunch of vaccinations and going through kidnapping training camp. As with Super Size Me, Spurlock’s simpering wife, Alexandra, is involved: this time she’s pregnant and tsk-tsking him for trotting the globe months before she is due. Once he gets to the Middle East, however, there is little to relate, or to do—at least in a manner that would appease Spurlock’s loud sensibilities. Turns out people are the same wherever you go, and that finding Osama won’t change anything. “We need to take a step back and ask ourselves what kind of world we want to live in,” he says, in what seems the film’s peroration.
Naturally, this is condescending twaddle, made worse by Spurlock’s insistence on being portrayed as a regular, everyday dude. It’s hard to imagine what political good a scene of him shooting a U.S. rocket launcher into the Toba Kakar mountain range does, an experience he describes to the camera as “awesome.” Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? may be leftism for kids and ignorant Americans, but it has little interest in encouraging its audience to grow up.
Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? is now playing at the Cumberland (159 Cumberland St.).