Fahrenheit 11/9 plays not like a much-needed blast of truth but like an all-purpose Michael Moore sequel, a self-congratulatory follow-up to several of his films, with Parkland material in the Bowling for Columbine vein, references to Sicko and even excerpts from 1989's Roger & Me. On one clip from an appearance on Roseanne Barr's short-lived talk show, Moore is even seen making nice with Donald Trump himself, who compliments Moore's Roger & Me and notes, "I hope he never does one on me."
Too bad he didn't. The problem with Fahrenheit 11/9 is that it's Trump's Fahrenheit 9/11 rather than Trump's Roger & Me. The genius of Moore's first film was its entry point: Moore began with an up-close look at his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and then expanded out to make Flint a microcosm for a broken nation. The current water crisis really is an equivalent to the tragedy at Roger & Me's center, the abandonment of Flint by General Motors. The best material here -- serious and comic -- addresses that crisis: the specifics of how it happened, the danger the citizenry still faces and the efforts of Snyder's administration to cover it up. What Moore reports here is vital, enraging and not widely known. What we know all about, on the other hand, is Donald Trump and the 2016 election.
So it's hard not to wonder how much Flint material was left on the cutting room floor so Moore could take a victory lap for having said on TV in 2016 that Trump could win or rehash Trump's well-documented history of racism and misogyny or (yes) relitigate 2016's Democratic primary.