EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE REQUIRED (Nathan Frankowski) 96 minutes. Opens Friday (June 27). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: N
Expelled: No Intelligence Required may be red meat to the right-wing hordes determined to bring God back into the classroom by any means necessary. But as a documentary – or even an argument for its cause – it’s a pretty feeble construction.
As actor-pitchman Ben Stein’s sanctimonious, faux shocked narration reveals, the scientific community doesn’t think much of intelligent design. ID proponents argue that life on earth is so complex that it must have been designed by some unknown architect, and that “Big Science” has circled the wagons around Darwin to protect his fragile theory from ID’s undeniable truth.
But the only way Stein and his producers can make their case is by taking statements out of context and misrepresenting their purposes – which, oddly enough, is the same way the intelligent design movement attempts to disguise its creationist origins.
(Most of the respected scientists and thinkers seen mocking the ID movement were told they were being interviewed for a documentary called Crossroads, about the intersection of science and faith.)
Once Expelled abandons its pretense of objectivity with a naked attempt to link Darwin to Dachau, it becomes simple propaganda, a childish attack on the very notion of scientific inquiry that depends on deliberate misreadings and wilful ignorance.
This is a movie with absolutely no integrity. It’s barely a movie at all.