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The Yes Men

Political Pranksters Take on the WTO

The newest documentary in the wave of political films being released in time for the Presidential Election, may be the funniest and most enjoyable. The Yes Men is about a group of impersonators / imposters / educators / activists that plays like an hour and half Candid Camera episode. The movie follows the antics of a group of political pranksters impersonating the illustrious WTO, after their spoof web site of the organization -- www.gatt.org -- gets repeatedly mistaken for the real deal.

When the dynamic duo 'Andy', whose many aliases include Granwyth Hulatberi and Hank Hardy Unruh, both of the WTO, and his unnamed partner in crime begin getting invited all over the world to give talks at various economic and global development forums, they, of course, oblige. Supported by a crew of activists including Patrick the computer guy who creates bizarre animation for their Power Point presentations and Sal the costume guy, who puts together an outrageously phallic gold lamé superhero suit for Andy for a talk in Finland, the yes men embark on a worldwide mission to inform the public just how far the WTO would go in the name of free trade.

As Andy's unnamed counterpart asserts, they see themselves as "'correcting' the WTO's identity…". And they are doing so with a healthy and hilarious dose of the truth. They go around delivering lectures on topics such as the natural evolution of slavery into remote labor and its cost effectiveness, the management leisure suit and recycling excrement into McDonald's hamburgers in order to feed the hungry masses of the developing world. You really get into the moment of their 'pranks' and watch with anxiety as they pull off their schemes, hoping the reactions of their unsuspecting 'victims' won't be too harsh.

While The Yes Men lacks a bit of editing -- the side conversations and small talk could be cut out -- it is a funny and memorable look at the creative, daring and nonviolent manner in which a group of people protested an organization that has sent many developing countries into further poverty.

Stars: 4 out of 5