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It could have been so much more

If you want to see a movie about a man who goes around telling people that they are stupid for having faith, this is your movie. However, if you were expecting this Bill Maher 'Documentary' to have really good arguments against religion and to be amusing due to the ignorance in which the public tries to combat them, you are mistaken. Though this movie can educate the audience on many aspects of religion and can ocasssionaly bring up interesting issues of faith, these are not abundant enough to make the two hours worth the time. I do not recommend this movie unless you truly have time to kill.


First and foremost, my religion is of no consequence during this review. I’m not biased against the movie because Bill Maher makes fun of my faith, this is not the case (my faith isn’t even mentioned in the movie--the film stays to Muslim, Catholic, Mormon, and Jewish, none of which I am). I went into this movie expecting Bill Maher to go around clowning people about relgion. Asking questions like “why do you believe in God if the Bible was written by man”, and having the public respond “because the Bible says so.” Kind of funny and if clever scenarios are created during conversations, this could be a pretty amusing journey for Bill Maher Well, this is not the case. In fact, all Maher does is goes around to people of faith and tell them that they are stupid for being a part of a religion. Who wants to watch some pompus jerk run around the world attacking theological figures. I don’t.

The plot
It’s a documentary, there is not plot. The idea is that Bill Maher travels the globe interviewing the public and occasionally holy figures about their religions. Pulling no punches, Bill tells everyone why they are wrong and stupid.

Reasons to see it
The documentary can be quite educational about some of the religions of the world. I like to think that I have a pretty good grasps of how most religions function, but I often found myself surprised at some of the differences and similarities between religions that I did not know about. On the other hand, the educational value may be better achieved by reading a book or even Wikipedia.

Bill is educated. The only thing worse then a self-important jerk telling you that you are stupid is a self-important jerk that doesn’t know what he is talking about. Fortunately, Maher is well read and always has quotes on hand that he can use to dispel many of the arguments that he encounters on his journey.

It’s also very amazing to see people stick so hard to their faith in the face of such doubt. Though this can be seen as ignorant at times, it is sort of refreshing to see faith so strong.

The Negatives
The triage of religion as foolish because the dogma contains a few outdated concepts is absurd. Sure, talking snakes don’t exist and vigin births are impossible but that doesn’t mean that the principles of religion are not true. Don’t kill, be a good person, live in moderation; none of these aspects of religion are destroyed just because the story of Jonah living in a fish is likely false.

Bill Maher’s approach is not designed to be entertaining which is something documentaries have to be in order to be successful (either that or informative, which aside from the aforementioned point is not true here either). I think he might have been better off taking a Socrates approach, in which he asks questions that he already knows the answers to and just continues his interrogation until the person he is questioning is backed into a corner of ignorance. Merely wandering around telling people that religion is not true is a poor strategy choice.

In summary…
A promising premise that is not well delivered. Unless the topic of religion really interest you, or you think that Bill Maher is as amazing as he thinks he is, I don’t recommend this film.
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