Cool It Director: Ondi Timoner Studio: Roadside Attractions After an intro featuring children’s quotes accentuating their fear for the world’s future, Cool It’s proper premise is spoken as the first line of real dialogue: “Global warming is real and it’s an important problem, but the scare tactics used to motivate people have gone too far. The hysteria blocks clear thinking and diverts millions, if not trillions, of dollars to the wrong solutions.” The above quote is from Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and charismatic star of the new documentary from Ondi Timoner (Dig!). The film is an obvious response to not only the polarizing and passionate issue of global warming, but specifically takes on Davis Guggenheim’s uber-popular documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Even before viewing, Lomborg and Timoner take the risk of being written off before they get started based on the material and position in the media. That last idea is what is most frustrating of Cool It. Timoner spends a significant portion of the documentary’s 90-minute running time on countering the opposition. For those who question Lomborg’s own expertise or persona, an investment is made to reveal Lomborg as a regular, sensible, down-to-earth guy who simply wants to do his part to “fix the most pressing problems in the world.” Frames around his family and interview clips seek to position him as a likeable guy so that you will digest his message. On the other side, Timoner spends even more time tearing down the hysteria around Al Gore’s position in An Inconvenient Truth and it isn’t until well into the movie that the viewer is finally positioned to receive some actual answers to the contrary—ones that might actually provide an answer. Timoner also features several shots of Lomborg combating current ills of spending, specifically tearing down the European Union’s plan by saying it’s money well-wasted. It’s perhaps an essential beginning to the film, but the contention can be made that people are ready to stop arguing and are ready to jump into practical, non-hysterical solutions. A smart argument doesn’t need to grease the wheels at this point. The good news is that after Timoner clears the slate, some practical theories actually emerge. It’s here that Cool It becomes an important film. As the reasonable approach progresses into providing answers not only for climate change, but also education and medical advances, it’s clear that Lomborg’s case for healing one issue is interconnected with all of society’s ills. Not every idea will work, but that’s not the point. The dominant message conveyed is that fearmongering and the inevitable overspending that comes with it never provide the meaningful solution needed. That’s something everyone needs to hear, and hopefully Cool It can provide a forum for further thought and exploration on all sides. Film EntErtainmEnt by matt Conner 52 CCM