Movie review | 'Unreasonable Man' a strong start but weak end

  • Article by: JEFF STRICKLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 29, 2007 - 4:20 PM

**½ out of four stars

Rated Not rated. Where: Lagoon.

This documentary starts out as a fascinating profile of consumer advocate Ralph Nader, but it ends up getting derailed by a political discussion marked by an abundance of whining.

The title is intriguing. When said by his detractors, the words are an insult. But Nader and his devotees clearly see them as a compliment. "He fights almost-impossible battles, and he wins most of them," supporter Bill Murray says.

After spending the first half of their movie trying to figure out what makes Nader tick, first-time filmmakers Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan waste most of the second hour debating whether his 2000 presidential bid cost Al Gore the votes that would have given him a victory over George W. Bush.

There are several shortcomings with this part of the film: There is no definitive answer to the question of whether Nader took votes away from Al Gore or attracted people to the polls who otherwise weren't planning to vote. And just about everyone expressing an opinion on the issue ends up sniveling about the other side.

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