I saw it, so you don't have to: Ben Stein's 'Expelled'
In retrospect, I really shoulda known better. I’d clicked through the bottom-of-the-barrel Rotten Tomatoes rating, the various erudite bloggers slamming it, and, of course, my esteemed cubicle-neighbor Adam Markovitz’s scathing D-grade review. But still, it had Ben Stein! He was funny in Ferris Bueller! And me, I have a slight glutton-for-punishment streak. So I succumbed to therelentless TV ad campaign earlier this week and went to see a matinee showing ofthe anti-evolution documentary Expelled. Worst decision ever.
Aside from its loony-fringe politics and sheer stupidity — think, for a moment, about how dumb you’d have to be to subtitle your deadly serious pseudo-science film “No Intelligence Allowed” — this movie is just excruciatingly bad from an aesthetic perspective. Imagine if the grating schoolteacher Stein played in Bueller got a whole movie to himself, and it was a holier-than-thou culture-war diatribe instead of a fizzy teen comedy, and also Stein’s character was revealed to be an ignorant creep with a penchant for wildly inappropriate Holocaust references. Now I understand why Ferris wanted that day off so desperately!
Anyone else sit through this monstrous excuse for a movie? I stuck around for the whole thing, and never have 90 minutes felt longer. I actually started groaning and muttering at the screen when Stein shamelessly exploited the memory of the millions whom Hitler murdered — which, apparently, was Charles Darwin’s fault somehow?! (Seriously, what was Stein thinking with that?) I’d apologize to the audience members who were irritated by my involuntary heckling, but there were only like four of them, and they were people who had paid money to see Expelled, so I don’t really feel too bad. Anyway, take it from me: Do not see this movie under any circumstances. Not ironically, not so you can mock it in the footnotes of your Ph.D dissertation on molecular biology, not even because you think it might make a funny “I saw it, so you don’t have to” blog item. And if you already made the mistake I did and subjected yourself to this stinker, go ahead and vent your feelings below — and please accept my condolences…