If An Inconvenient Truth didn’t inspire enough fleeting despair, impulsive eco-activism or hasty tube-tyings, this bandwagony follow-up should do the trick (it tries to, anyway). Like Davis Guggenheim’s unexpected hit, The Great Warming details what to expect if greenhouse-gas emissions aren’t curtailed pronto. The message is just as bleak, even if the messengers (Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morissette narrate) are unfailingly perky.
The doc breaks the looming crisis into digestible, chapterlike chunks in which many scientists are consulted, and there’s a laudable effort to emphasize the “global” part of global warming—turns out the primary sufferers of climate change will be poor people in low-lying parts of the world (for whom, presumably, their governments will do a heckuva job). The movie also spotlights an evangelical Christian eco-movement called Creation Care, for what that’s worth.
But while the depth of the film’s data and the range of its expert testimony are impressive, the overall effect is stultifyingly abstract. In fact, the incongruously beautiful travelogue footage and snappy graphics recall those slickly earnest science-class movies that have been putting captive middle-schoolers to sleep since forever. Without a hook like Al Gore’s heartfelt, goofily moving nature worship, this topic lacks the necessary immediacy. (Opens Fri; Regal E-Walk 13.) — Mark Holcomb