The Big One

"Very Good"

The Big One Review


For a movie with a title like The Big One, Michael Moore's follow-up to Roger & Me is awfully small. It's a mishmash of corporate butt-kickery, political naysaying, and self-indulgence, courtesy of Moore's random walk across America during a late-'90s book tour.

Moore flies from city to city to expose the Hard Times he's become well known for. A Payday factory is shut down. Borders workers in Des Moines are getting wages deducted for a health plan that has no doctor in the city. Moore complains about vegetables on his McDonald's fish sandwich and how life went in the toilet in Flint, Michigan. He goes on a tirade (admittedly, a hysterical tirade) about how Steve Forbes (then running for president) was an alien. He gives a lot of speeches. He shepherds the unemployed (who mysteriously seem to lose their jobs the one day he's in town). And eventually he sets his sights on Phil Knight and Nike, whose outsourced manufacturing has long been rumored to be the product of child labor.

If this all sounds a bit random it is -- only not a bit, it's completely random and without any focus at all. What's "the big one," anyway? Who knows. It's certainly not Phil Knight, who runs around Moore intellectually even though he's clearly in the moral wrong. Moore's big victory: He gets Knight to shake his hand as a pledge to consider opening a factory in Flint. Right. (Per media reports, little to nothing has changed about Nike's manufacturing since this film was made... eight years ago.) (OK, to be honest "The Big One" is Moore's suggested new name for the United States.)

The Big One is funniest when Moore is being alternately ass-kissed and outright lied to by Random House and bookstores where he's speaking. A running gag invloves the Random House publicist "escorts," bubbleheaded women who cringe at Moore's every move. His attempts to undermine their "authority" are priceless, though of course they're largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of the film.

As usual, Moore's running monologue is full of inconsistencies: Moore eats fast food at every meal (not exactly an industry known for treating its employees well). He flies first class while listening to the flight attendents complain that they haven't had a raise in 20 years. He rides the free cart in the airport while complaining about people who ride the free cart in the airport.

The good news is he knows he's ridiculous, and he kind of makes fun of it. Does that absolve Moore of making a movie without much of a point? Not really, but The Big One is ultimately a good intro to Moore's rhetoric -- as if that's something any of us really need.

You can now get the film in a box set with Bowling for Columbine and a bonus DVD featuring outtakes from various speeches Moore has given on his latest book tour.



The Big One

Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th April 1998

Box Office Worldwide: $720.1 thousand

Production compaines: Dog Eat Dog Films, Mayfair Entertainment International, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Himself, as Herself - Random House Media Escort, as Himself (as Jim), Brian Danitz as Himself (as Brian)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.