He leaves behind him in Manhattan a pregnant, worried wife, which offers a convenient, if sickly, human angle to his journey. He travels about, interviewing people on the ground and trying to understand anything and everything about the region with very little focus beyond his spurious search for a man who at one point he caricatures in an animated insert as a bearded version of MC Hammer.
Spurlock’s investigation is flawed from the beginning. A visit to an American self-defence specialist illicits histrionics which lump the entire Middle East into a category marked ‘terrorist’. It’s the first in a series of condescensions and crass interventions that include Spurlock riding a camel in Egypt, trying to force interviews with veiled women in Saudi and provoking Orthodox Jews to violence in Jerusalem.
What Spurlock demonstrates here – and full credit to Michael Moore – is how hard it is to combine popular style with proper intent. How can you view seriously anyone who ‘embeds’ himself with US troops in Afghanistan only to fire a rocket into a hillside for laughs? ‘That was awesome,’ grins Spurlock inanely.