Entertainment

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel, Hollywood’s New Love Affair

Sounding the climate change alarm yet again, former VP as much an opportunist as Michael Moore

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to talking about water …

Al Gore, the man who 11 years ago warned against a coming environmental disaster in “An Inconvenient Truth,” snapping up two Oscars and a Nobel Peace Prize in the process, is now sounding the alarm again. He’s doing so in “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” which premiered opening night at Sundance Jan. 19.

Gore’s Dec. 5 meeting with then-President-Elect Donald Trump went better than Gore was anticipating — and he is dangling that carrot everywhere he goes.

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“He was receptive to some of what I had to say, and I appreciated that,” Gore told The Hollywood Reporter of his meeting at Trump Tower last month. “Candidate Trump made a number of statements and wrote a bunch of tweets that caused concern, but he also has other statements that at least give rise to the possibility that he and his team will take a fresh look at the reality of what we’re facing here.”

It turns out that even after the meeting, Gore and Trump have remained in contact, through more discreet channels. “I won’t get into the details of how we have communicated,” Gore admitted coyly in that same interview. “I don’t want the Russians to hack it.”

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Funny. It is also funny how a good chunk of the original “Inconvenient” was actually filmed on a private jet.

The first half of the sequel is reportedly spent checking in on what Gore has been up to since the last movie. He has been evangelizing against climate change with an increased determination, even while coverage has waned. That’s what makes the timing of the sequel such a curious thing; one can only imagine that Hillary Clinton’s election loss paved the way not only for the Sundance reception — but also for Gore’s reemergence in terms of headlines.

Gore is seizing on the timing of both the film’s release and the recent protesting to peddle his agenda.

Will he field questions about his selling of his TV channel for millions to Al Jazeera and oil tycoons, while bashing Trump’s prior business dealings out of the other side of his mouth during the press junket? Not likely.

Without question, extra attention has been focused on the sequel thanks to Donald Trump’s victory. Just look at the premiere’s timing — it was held on the eve of Donald Trump’s swearing-in as president.

For those who may have forgotten (even while Gore will readily remind you), Trump had tweeted in 2014 that climate change was “a hoax.” But in November he told The New York Times, “There is some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.

Still, Al Gore appears as much the opportunist as filmmaker Michael Moore here, seizing on the timing of both the film’s release and the recent protesting to peddle his agenda.

Related: Michael Moore’s Hypocritical Resistance

As he told Deadline: “I am trying to protect the confidence of that conversation [with Trump] in case I need to have a couple more. Over the years there are a lot of people who started out as deniers and change[d] over time — whether he will remains to be seen.”

Of course, Gore tempered that optimism by lamenting Trump’s choice of a “climate change denier” to head the EPA — Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general.

Most of “An Inconvenient Sequel” was shot in 2016, and there are glimpses of Trump’s rise through the primaries as Gore is going about his work in front of the cameras.

Starting off with a chorus of pundits who ridicule Gore, a Trump name-drop, and the ex-VP testifying before Congress in 2007, “Inconvenient Sequel” looks into the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. At one point, in words that have added poignancy now, Gore equates the climate crisis with “the democracy crisis,” as he terms it. “Our democracy has been hacked,” Gore says.

Related: Celebrities Already Planning Next Trump Protest

Clearly he wants it both ways — for Trump to be receptive to him while retaining the right to bash him at every turn.

With cameos from Obama, John Kerry, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among many other world leaders — and a harsh Trump via TV appearances — the film ends with Gore heading into Trump Tower for that Dec. 5 meeting.

It’s dramatic, to say the least — but Trump’s hearing him out might have just killed the “Inconvenient” trilogy.

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