Monday, April 14, 2008

Variety Reviews "Expelled"

Variety examines the film Expelled and finds that, although it asks some good questions, ultimately, its style and direction undermine any point it is trying to make. For example:

First-time director Nathan Frankowski strikes a relentlessly jokey tone throughout, using black-and-white film clips as comic punctuation (after news of a professor's axing, pic cuts to a shot of a guillotine). In addition to being just plain irritating, this jittery style seems to reinforce the perception of the pic's target audience as a bunch of intellectual lightweights.

Even more offensive is the film's attempt to link Darwin's "survival of the fittest" ideas and Hitler's master-race ambitions (when in doubt, invoke the Holocaust), complete with solemnly scored footage of the experimentation labs at Dachau. Evocations of the Berlin Wall, treated as a symbol of a bullheaded scientific establishment on the verge of collapse, are equally fatuous.

As I have posted before, the Darwin/Hitler connection is misplaced, as he did not believe that evolution applied to humans. The other is unfortunate because it is, once again, playing directly into the hands of people like Richard Dawkins and PZ Meyers who need no encouragement.

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