While probably premature and inherently less interesting than its immediate predecessor, “Revenge of the Electric Car” – a sequel to 2006’s “Who Killed the Electric Car?” – is an entertaining and eye-opening documentary.
Granted, you may still be stuck on the revelation that even documentaries are receiving sequels nowadays but “Revenge of the Electric Car” is a worthy companion piece to its prototype. Rather than just beating a dead horse, writer/director Chris Paine expands upon the ideas introduced in his preceding project while plugging the viewer into the evolved enterprise.
In “Revenge of the Electric Car,” Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, General Motors, Tesla Motors and a do-it-yourselfer’s garage to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars, following the race to be the first, the best and to win the hearts and minds of the public around the world.
Paine would have the viewer believe that foreign fuel is already a thing of the past and that the vast majority of people in America are driving electric vehicles. It does not take a genius to realize that it is a bit too early to be using the word “revenge” when it comes to this subject. Paine’s mother obviously never taught him that lesson about counting one’s chickens.
Having said that, we are certainly on the road to that destination. But if you know someone who actually owns a Nissan Leaf or a Chevy Volt, you must run in wealthier circles than those of this critic. Moreover, Tesla Motors should have never been included in “Revenge of the Electric Car,” as the company is not quite as far along as Nissan and General Motors and therefore its tale takes too much time to tell.
Of course, even Tesla Motors is not as much of a blatant stretch for material as Paine’s integration of the do-it-yourselfer. His story would have made for an excellent bonus feature on the DVD but as part of the feature film it only disproves Paine’s point, revealing that electric vehicles still have a long way to go before a filmmaker has enough content to make another movie.
On the other hand, “Revenge of the Electric Car” is still an interesting project and there is enough stuff that has happened since the release of Paine’s last documentary to inform viewers who want to keep abreast of this topic. There just may have been even more had Paine waited a while longer before making this movie, thereby facilitating a more fulfilling experience.
“Revenge of the Electric Car” (PG-13 – 90 minutes) is now playing exclusively at Harkins Camelview 5. Visit FirstLook.com for specific showtimes.