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Brave movie serves up silly jokes with a serious point

The Baltimore Sun

Americans numbed by the daily barrage of politics-as-usual are about to be awakened by some new fireworks - Hollywood-style. Imagine documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and director David Zucker (Airplane! and The Naked Gun) in the center ring, and you begin to get the idea.

Mr. Zucker's movie An American Carol, in theaters Oct. 3, is a shot across Hollywood's bow, aimed directly at Mr. Moore - who will release an online movie, Slacker Uprising, a few days before Mr. Zucker's to reap the benefit of the backhanded buzz.

The release of both films has been timed for maximum impact on the coming election. No matter who wins this cultural crossfire, Mr. Zucker's movie is revolutionary. He and co-writer Myrna Sokoloff (a former staffer for California Sen. Barbara Boxer), along with other Hollywood renegades from the left who were mugged by reality on 9/11, are busting out of the closet - with a serious case of the giggles.

The cast includes Jon Voight, Dennis Hopper, Kelsey Grammer and James Woods. As the title suggests, the story line is based on A Christmas Carol. Ghosts of the past - George Washington, Gen. George S. Patton and John F. Kennedy - squire America-bashing filmmaker "Michael Malone" around to see how the world would look if America hadn't fought any wars.

Mr. Malone, played by Kevin Farley, has joined forces with a left-wing group, MoveAlong.org, to ban the Fourth of July. He also has been hired by terrorists to make a propaganda film to help recruit a diminishing supply of suicide bombers.

And you thought suicide bombers weren't funny.

The joke begins when two would-be terrorists enter a New York City subway station and are met at a security checkpoint by two NYPD officers. Just as they're about to be searched, in rushes a squad of attorneys with a stop-search order.

"Thank Allah for the ACLU," says one of the terrorists - and we're off!

An American Carol may not be The Best Movie You Ever Saw, but it's radical in its assault on the left wing; it's brave given the risk of peer ridicule and the potential for career suicide. It will probably be panned by jaded reviewers who will point out its flaws. But the film makes a serious and necessary point that can't be missed amid the laughter and the outrage: America is not the enemy.

Mr. Zucker insists he needn't be taken seriously, but he does believe that Islamist terrorism poses a greater threat than those Americans typically demonized by Hollywood and the left.

For delivering that message, maybe Mr. Zucker deserves not an Oscar, but a Nobel Prize.

Kathleen Parker's syndicated column appears

regularly in The Baltimore Sun. Her e-mail is

kparker@kparker.com.

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