Anthony's Film Review

The Corporation (2003)

I had no problem with the choice of subject matter, but I wasn't as moved as I thought I would...

In 2003, a documentary film called The Corporation made its premiere at film festivals. I would eventually see it about a year later when it reached theaters as a limited release. At that time, I had a new interest in documentary films, especially those related to issues in society that affect so many of us. You have to give filmmaker Michael Moore a lot of credit for generating such interest in young people like myself. In addition, Morgan Spurlock did the same with Super Size Me, a documentary about fast food and obesity.

The Corporation, as the title implies, is a documentary that takes a look at greed among corporations and the executives that run them. Sounds promising, right? Well, it does introduce the topic well. I liked how it explained a legal clause recognizing and treating corporations like they're real people. This segues into the later argument that corporate practices can get so out of hand that it's like the corporation has a mind of its own. And an evil one, too.

There is plenty of relevant footage and interviews to go with it. You can see the progression from the early days of corporations to the monstrous entities that they are today. The one scene I particularly remember is when a group of people are protesting the presence of big-name corporations in their town. They see big business as a threat to small business and small community. Not too long afterwards, Michael Moore appears to make a similar kind of statement, and the film ends.

It sounds like I praise the film. Yes, but to a certain degree. Unfortunately, there was one fault that slightly outweighs the good things I've said so far. It's the presentation. It just wasn't as engaging as I wanted to be. It didn't seem to capture my attention by giving me the most important bits of info. Rather, it felt as if the film was just giving us whatever it wanted and expected us to figure out what the point was. The best way to describe it is two words: talking heads. Because that was it mostly consisted of.

So that is why I have to give The Corporation a slightly negative rating. If you disagree, I can understand. Like I said, I can see where the film works. I just happen to have a different set of expectations. I don't want a series of talking heads that may or may not get my attention. I want a series of well-chosen clips that can engage me and help me see the point they're getting across. This is why I say that it's not just the presentation topic that's important. It's also the presentation itself.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about The Corporation, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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