Length: 90 minutes
Director: Nathan Frankowski
Writers: Ben Stein, Kevin Miller (After…) and Walt Ruloff
Starring: Ben Stein, Richard Dawkins, Caroline Crocker
Wow. I don’t even know where to start. For all of you Michael Moore haters out there that believe he makes completely biased one sided documentaries, nothing he has made comes even remotely close to how close minded and bullying “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is. I had a conversation with my buddy Keith about the film prior to it opening. We are both interested in how the world came to be and our opinions slightly differ when it comes to evolution, so we both thought that this film would do a decent job of providing both sides of the story when it comes to evolution vs. intelligent design. Nope. Not even close. Instead, the movie has Ben Stein- a man that is famous solely for his bit part in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (Don’t worry, he cashes in on his catch phrase before the movie is over)- bullying and ridiculing anyone that disagrees with his opinion on how man came to be. He compares Darwin to Hitler- even adding in archival footage of the Holocaust to boot! Stein, in turn, due to his “brave” attempts to spread the word of intelligent design compares himself to Ronald Regan destroying the Berlin Wall- also complete with archival footage that cuts back and forth between him and Regan. What kind of ego trip is this guy on? If he hadn’t have had a monotone minute and a half clip in a 1980’s John Hughes comedy, he wouldn’t even have been lucky enough to land those Clear Eyes commercials. The movie does start off like it wants to be on equal footing. I went into it expecting the movie to lean more towards intelligent design- after all most docs are one sided whether they want to admit it or not, but none have ever been more so than this. After a few scenes where Stein claims religion has nothing to do with it and that he just wants believers in intelligent design to be heard and understood, he starts to interview intellectuals and bash them and humiliate them because they favor Darwinism. When famed philosopher Richard Dawkins is interviewed and Stein asks him what he believes the chances of the Christian God existing are, Dawkins says he believes “in his opinion” that there is a “99% percent” chance that there is none. Stein laughs in his face and retorts with the highly clever, “Why not forty nine percent?” Dawkins squirms uncomfortably in his chair and Stein gives him a smarmy look that basically says “you’re a moron for not believing in what I believe in” (this after Dawkins admits that “intelligent design” is a possible theory in a very kind manner). I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover and I can tell you that the point of Christianity is not to belittle others. The biggest problem with the film is that it doesn’t even explain it’s case properly. It’s so worried with the push back intelligent design is getting, that it fails to inform us why we should believe in it to begin with (at least adequately in my opinion). I can’t remember the last time I saw a film that made me so mad. “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is the cinematic equivalent of the bully at school that dips the heads of the “nerds” in the toilet for being all “good at math and stuff”. It should also be noted that the majority of the pro-Darwinism interviewers were lied to about what the film was about and the film was edited to make them sound exactly how the filmmakers wanted them to. The crowd that Stein lectures to at the beginning and ending of the film (the ones that stand up and clap and holler like Stein just gave the Gettysburg Address) were also paid to do so- having no idea or strong belief on why they were there to begin with. The filmmakers also went on to make a fuss when it wasn’t reviewed on critic Richard Roeper’s syndicated movie review program (the one that features Roger Ebert when he’s healthy). Roeper’s response after finally seeing it “What a load of crap”. I couldn’t agree more. I’ll sit and listen to intelligent design theories all day and have a mature and gentlemanly debate with anyone. I won’t, however, smile and look on as someone compares someone else to Hitler for differing in a belief on how man was created and changed throughout the times. If you stand behind what you believe in then what’s wrong with presenting in it in an honest and adult like fashion? Save the name calling and mud slinging for the schoolyard.
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