Mr. Freedom

Director: William Klein
Year Released: 1969
Rating: 2.0

Expatriate and WWII vet Klein, living in France and lovin' it, decides to turn the naive but nasty American Export of Freedom (* By Any Means Necessary) into a comic-book type film and, frankly, the results are mixed. The crass Anti-Americanism, as Mr. Rosenbaum points out, is excusable because of Klein's true nationality (and I second the notion that this could have only been made by an American - who best to lay into us than us), but his satire is entirely too one-dimensional and repetitive - if you haven't tired of the joke by the fifteen minute mark, you're a better person than I. There is much to celebrate here, especially in the set design (red, white and blue ... of course) and costumes (Mr. Freedom looks like a cross between a fighter pilot and a football player) not to mention the casting (Delphine Seyrig, Donald Pleasance and one of my heroes, Serge Gainsbourg!), but the picture doesn't go anywhere, and the final acts of destruction aren't unlike Antonioni's explosion/commotion in Zabriskie Point (stuff-goes-boom). If there's a movie I can think of that begs for a remake, especially in these times, it's this one (Will Ferrell as Mr. Freedom could work) though I wonder how far Hollywood would be willing to go in skewering its own political ignorance.