Michael Moore’s ‘Trumpland’ is nothing more than lame, liberal stand-up

Michael Moore’s ‘Trumpland’ is nothing more than lame, liberal stand-up

Incendiary. Revolutionary. Outrageous. These are just a few adjectives that no one will be using to describe the new Michael Moore movie, which is so pathetic that it actually includes the name of its star in the title, on the entirely justified suspicion that people are starting to forget him. “Michael Moore in Trumpland” is the filmed record of a combination stand-up comedy act and embarrassing heartfelt plea that Moore performed a few weeks ago in a theater in an Ohio county that intends to vote for Donald Trump. It’s called Clinton County, though, Moore says. That’s an indicator of the level of comedy we’re in for. For the most part, the movie doesn’t joke about Trump. Instead, with Pyongyang-edition-of-Vogue-style 9-foot glamour photos of Hillary Clinton behind him, Moore tries to explain why people should support her — though he has never voted for either Bill or Hillary Clinton before. This is Moore in nice-guy mode: Earnest, pleading, (mostly) soft-voiced, declawed, defanged and very possibly self-neutered, though I’m not volunteering to be the one who checks. Moore seems to think that being in a Trump-voting county means he is talking to Trump supporters, although the audience is obviously 100 percent liberal, going utterly silent when he asks the Donald’s fans to sound off. Moore’s jokes about conservatives are about as hard-hitting as calling them “the organized one in the family — they never lose their car keys.” He offers this shout-out to millennials: “When we can’t get our device to work, we call you up!” And he says the only thing men are good for is getting stuff off a high shelf. If Hillary doesn’t deliver, he says, he is going to run for president in 2020. His No. 1 issue: “One charger for all devices!” To call this material milky is to vastly overstate the spice factor involved. Oh, and there’s a purported clip from an Inauguration Day newscast after Trump wins the election (an event Moore has repeatedly predicted) in which Trump is depicted as saying, “What a dump . . . where’s the penthouse?” Is Reader’s Digest still in business? I think their humor column has just found a potential new contributor. A scene from “Trumpland.”Photo: Dog Eat Dog Films Awkwardly, Moore admits that the Trump voters he’s met in his native Michigan are “not racists and rednecks — they’re actually pretty decent people,” and says, “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest f - - k you ever recorded in human history.” (Trump’s big poll dive of recent weeks had yet to occur.) Since Trump and Moore share a lot of instincts — notably, a belief that tariffs will resurrect American manufacturing and a sense that elites who run a rigged system are cheating Joe Blow — and Trump once praised Moore as a good guy (as we see in a late-’90s clip), defending Hillary means rhetorical contortions that are about as graceful as Moore doing yoga. He pleads to the audience that Hillary is kinda like Pope Francis — just quietly biding her time and waiting to make it to the top before letting her true progressivism show. “What is this about her being likable?” he says. “You’re not going to the voting booth to vote for a friend.” Inspirational! As for her low scores on trustworthiness, he says, “Did she promise to water your plants and then not do it?” Hey, I realize Moore’s last movie (“Where To Invade Next”) bombed, but this question suggests Moore hasn’t been able to afford the price of a paper in the last couple of years. As for Moore’s comment that it’s absurd to think that Clinton Foundation donors “go in there and say I need you to bomb Yemen,” that joke would probably work better if we were not in fact currently bombing Yemen. Still more tasteless are Moore’s several cracks about the death of Clinton’s former friend and colleague Vince Foster, who committed suicide shortly after arriving in the Clinton White House. Moore adds that he hopes Clinton herself killed Foster “cause that’s badass, man!” Hillary’s health cover-up? That was our fault, Moore says: “She has gotten to a point in her life that she can’t even trust us . . . that’s a sad commentary on us.” Wrapping things up, the most notoriously partisan political flame-thrower of documentary filmmaking surveys the campaign landscape and finds . . . a lack of politesse. “Can’t we say something nice about her?” Moore asks. “Isn’t this the way we were raised?” It’s like listening to Trump preaching the virtues of humility.

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