Combustible Celluloid
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With: Martin Sheen (narrator), Mel Gibson, Peter Horton, Alexandra Paul, Chelsea Sexton, Ralph Nader, Phyllis Diller, Colette Divine, David Freeman, Dan Neil, Alan C. Lloyd, Doug Korthof, Greg Hanssen, Tom Everhart
Written by: Chris Paine
Directed by: Chris Paine
MPAA Rating: PG for brief mild language
Running Time: 92
Date: 01/23/2006

Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Nobody's Fuel

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

If you're like me, you didn't really notice that the electric car, so heavily hyped in the mid-90s, has completely disappeared from the roads. Chris Paine's new documentary starts there and tries to figure out what happened. It no uncertain terms, it uncovers a conspiracy -- perhaps an inadvertent one -- perpetuated by a combination of car companies, oil companies and consumer indifference. The movie investigates each one of these, attempting to come up with both pro and con for each. One interviewee argues that the car wasn't sexy enough for Americans, but others argue that Americans will always buy the latest toy if advertised correctly. However, the film's sympathies clearly lie in favor of the Davids rather than the Goliaths, and it can't come up with much of a defense for the big corporations. A kind of companion to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, Who Killed the Electric Car? doesn't contain very many surprises, and it will most likely preach to the already-converted, but it's still a necessary document. Martin Sheen narrates, and various celebrities from Mel Gibson to Alexandra Paul provide their support.

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