Review in a Hurry: After successfully taking on McDonald's in Super Size Me, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock sets his sights on an even more lethal franchise: Al Qaeda. But Big Macs at Mickey D's are nothing compared to the big mess in the Middle East, and Spurlock bites off more than he can chew.
The Bigger Picture: If you were married to Spurlock, wouldn't you wanna kill him for nearly killing himself? First, he trashed his health scarfing fast food for 30 days. And now he tracks the world's most-wanted terrorist to try and make things safer for his soon-to-be-born kid (with wife, Alexandra Jamieson). Couldn't he just childproof their home instead?
Spurlock preps for his Mideast mission by taking self-defense courses, learning some Arabic and growing a beard. Then jetting to the region, he visits several hot spots to get the scoop about bin Laden's background and influences.
Repeating the Super Size Me formula, Spurlock slips in facts and lessons between the funny stuff, but that doc benefited from his focus on one industry while on a one-month diet. Here, he's all over the map—literally—with stops in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though there's interesting info about Al Qaeda, Islam, U.S. foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, etc., it's all too much to explore with any depth.
Still, Spurlock has as an easy, affable persona. It's no wonder he can get—with some exceptions—locals to share their thoughts about bin Laden and life during our "war on terror."
As in his 30 Days TV series, Spurlock is ultimately interested in breaking down cultural and social stereotypes and emphasizing the commonality of our human experience. To that end, Where in the World succeeds but—like our intrepid tour guide—it has wandered too much while getting there.The 180—a Second Opinion: The flick kicks off hilariously with an animated bin Laden doing the Hammer dance to "U Can't Touch This."