The Yes Men Fix The World Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno and Kurt Engfehr

The Yes Men Fix The World Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno and Kurt Engfehr
Love or hate them, the merry pranksters of American activism are back to wreak havoc on the world's greedy corporations. Following their eponymous 2004 cinematic debut, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno (with Kurt Engfehr behind the camera) now take aim at Dow Chemical. Pretending to be Dow spokesman, they announce on live TV that Dow will clean up Bhopal and compensate the victims. In the next 23 minutes, Dow shares fall by two billion. The hoax, which is the central one in this smart, entertaining film, not only blames Dow, but points fingers at the mainstream Western media, which ignored the Bhopal anniversary and the lingering injustice. This DVD lavishes an unusual amount of bonus features on a documentary. We see more of their shtick in 69 minutes worth of short films, dating back to 1996's hilarious RTMark: Bringing It To You, done as a corporate video that showcases RTMark's skill at sabotaging big corporations with pranks. The first one was adding homosexual acts to a violent war videogame that got Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum fired from his programming job. In contrast, Captain Euro takes aim at an Aryan-looking superhero, but doesn't convince us that its creators are racist or have a hidden agenda. The Yes Men are back in form in The Horribly Stupid Stunt, where Bichlbaum poses as a PR man for the WTO and lectures the suits about international mergers at an Austrian seminar. He pisses off the audience by declaring that a Dutch-Italian partnership will never work because the Dutch work hard, but the Italians are lazy. Three meaty outtakes totalling 26 minutes expand on the main film. One is a serious BBC World report that looks at the deadly effects of Bhopal 20 years on. Another takes us to yet another business conference, but is a tad dry and overlong. The funniest outtake is the instructional How To Be A Yes Man, which is sure to spawn a generation of activists using comedy as their weapon, I hope. (E1)