Summary: Fun entertainment, but nothing more.
After watching a few clips of Real Time with Bill Maher, I was looking
forward to Religulous, hoping it would provide an insightful, thought
provoking look at religion from a more rational perspective.
While it's a fun film, it's really just Bill Maher poking fun at
people's absurd beliefs. The editing of the interviews to favour
Maher is blatant, and he doesn't let the people he's interviewing
say much. On many occasions, the only difference I can spot between
Religulous and Maher's standup act is that the audience in this
so-called documentary are supposed to be interviewees. Personally,
I think this is a real shame as when it comes to many of the people
he met, such as the Holy Land Experience cast and visitors, hardly
any prompting was necessary to show how insane their beliefs are.
If you're looking to poke fun at religious beliefs, this film does
a reasonable job of it. If you want anything more, such as convincing
arguments in either direction or anything that might make you think,
you're still better off with a book such as The God Delusion. If
you want to see how scary people can be once infected with religious
doctrine, check out Jesus Camp instead. Unlike this movie, Jesus
Camp shows people who hold bizarre beliefs without the people making
the film getting in their way, and is therefore much more effective.
All in all, this film is funny and a little scary, but it could have
been so much more. By all means watch it, but I hope that people
such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher
Hitchens make their own documentaries that point out the true
absurdities and dangers of religion, to compliment and surpass this
movie that merely makes fun of people's beliefs.