The best eco-movie of the year is Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E — easily one of the best movie dystopias ever. It ranks with Blade Runner, Brazil, A Clockwork Orange, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the Matrix, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, and the first two Terminator movies.
Yes, Hollywood loves dystopias. Perhaps because it is one (okay, technically Hollywood is an anti-utopia).
The worst eco-movie of the year for me was Quantum of Solace. I had been somewhat hopeful upon learning the villain was a green-washing “eco-entrepreneur.” But as a huge James Bond fan, I was quite disappointed. The writing and directing were dreadful, among the worst of the entire series. The story line was incoherent. The characters’ motivations were opaque. And the direction of the action scenes suffered from the Jason Bourne syndrome — way too much fast-cutting.
I still like the grittiness of Daniel Craig — his Bond is much more like Ian Fleming imagined in his books than anyone since the Sean Connery of the early movies. Still, the gritty realism is undercut again and again as one guy with a pistol keeps beating a dozen guys with machine guns — not something you find much in the books.
Environmentally, one incidental character did mention global warming in passing. The only “good” eco-point the movie “exposed” was the danger of hydrogen fuel cells. But even that was an absurd contrivance — with a hotel in the middle of nowhere apparently keeping hydrogen in every room. I’m afraid that’s less plausible than the repeated pistol victories.
As for the brilliantly crafted Wall-E, the movie deserves special attention for two reasons: