A 46-year-old Dane who looks vaguely like he should be in a kitchen yelling at people on one of those angry-chef TV shows, Bjorn Lomborg is an author and economist whose controversial book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, has put him in the crosshairs of environmental advocacy groups and certain climate change deniers alike — no small feat, really. Part unfocused, worshipful biography of Lomborg, part messy documentary examination of some of his theories and proposals, director Ondi Timoner’s film works the talking head rope-line of enviro-peers but doesn’t heartily impress enough of a clear-eyed point-of-view to lift this film up and make it anything other than muddled and frustrating.
The first 20 minutes or so of Cool It are dawdling and aimless, to an off-putting degree from which the movie never truly rallies and recovers. Lomborg, the founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, uses a cost/benefit analysis of various potential solutions to global warming and other environmental problems, a model of economic distinction with variables with which many folks take umbrage. The movie is provocative, certainly, particularly for the manner in which Lomborg takes aim at some of the facts in Al Gore’s Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth. Timoner, though, doesn’t at all do a good job of communicating it, and while his subject admirably advocates for smarter environmental spending, both he and the movie seem to ignore the basic reality that the political calculation of those who peddle doom-and-gloom scenarios stems at least in part from the fact that they’re dealing with people on the other side of the issue who decry all science. Winning an argument in the margins isn’t something that is going to happen with these troglodytes.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, Cool It comes to DVD presented in a solid 1.78:1 widescreen transfer that preserves the aspect ratio of its original theatrical presentation, with Dolby digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo audio tracks, and optional English and Spanish subtitles. In addition to the theatrical trailer, the only bonus material consists of 15 minutes of deleted scenes. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here; alternately, if Half is your thing, meanwhile, click here. C- (Movie) C+ (Disc)