An American Carol (PG-13)

Comedy 83 October 3, 2008
By Scott Foundas
In this astonishingly inept, alleged satire from director and co-writer David Zucker—an even more virulent, us-against-them proposition than Bill Maher’s Religulous—a bumbling trio of Islamic terrorists set off for America in search of a Hollywood director to help them make a recruitment video for suicide bombers. They find their white knight in slovenly, Michigan-born documentary maker Michael Malone (get it?), whose credits include Die, You American Pigs and No Country for Anyone and who, in turn, finds his latent patriotic impulses stirred by visits from the ghosts of JFK, George S. Patton, and George Washington (played, I kid you not, by Jon Voight). The jokes, such as they are, come at the expense of people named “Mohammed” or “Hussein,” vegans, homosexuals, and pretty much anyone who dares to question authority. In the most grotesque musical number this side of From Justin to Kelly, a chorus line of leering, pot-smoking academics conflates higher learning with liberal brainwashing, but it’s Zucker who is the real revisionist historian here: equating peace negotiations with Appeasement; likening Moore/Malone (Kevin Farley) to Leni Riefenstahl; invoking the Civil War as an argument against pacifism. There’s been one razor-sharp cultural lampoon at the movies this year—Adam Sandler’s Don’t Mess With the Zohan—although Zucker’s achievement may in fact be more remarkable. His movie’s level of political discourse makes Couric/Palin look like Frost/Nixon.
David Zucker Kevin P. Farley, Kelsey Grammer, Trace Adkins, Robert Davi, Leslie Nielsen, Dennis Hopper, James Woods, Geoffrey Arend, Serdar Kalsin, Jon Voight Myrna Sokoloff, David Zucker, Lewis Friedman Stephen McEveety, John Shepherd, David Zucker Vivendi Entertainment

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