In times of war, people often ponder the dangers of living and the threat to bringing another life into the world. Of course, if you’re Morgan Spurlock, creator of the doc hit Super Size Me, you can explore these issues a little more closely.
If 30-years of movie watching have taught Spurlock anything, it’s that the world is usually saved by a single man willing to step-up, action hero style. Upon finding out his wife is pregnant, Spurlock decides to make the world a little safer by capturing America's most wanted, Osama bin Laden. He prepares for his journey to the Middle East through vaccines, lots of reading, a language tutor and survival training. Then he embarks on a months-long tour of some of the most dangerous countries in the world according to the U.S. government.
The fact that he attempts to understand the environment and culture not only underscores the danger of his mission but also that he is setting about it with the right sort of attitude. His approach to what becomes an up-close look at life in the regions is often humorous – and based on his target audience (Americans) that was probably a good choice. He is unlikely to enlighten or change the minds of those who wholeheartedly believe Arabs are evil but by creating an entertaining and informative piece, he will reach a larger audience.
Spurlock appears to try to obtain all sides of the story, visiting several countries and speaking to its rational and radical inhabitants. He discovers most Middle Easterners worry about money, work and providing their children with quality lives and education, much like Westerners. While there is an anti-American sentiment, most direct it against the government, not the citizens. To round out the documentary, Morgan speaks to the head of a worship facility in Saudi Arabia who promotes the Jihad and anti-Semitism and -Christianity. He also asks numerous people why others view terrorism as their only answer.
The extras are somewhat modest for such a heavy subject. The first is an alternate ending that is just as effective as the one chosen for the final cut. There's also an animation excluded from the Afghanistan chapter and, although entertaining, it's unnecessary. The remaining items in the special features section are excerpts from interviews with various people who were not included in the doc but still provide worthwhile insights; it is just unfortunate they did not fit in the film.