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By Brad Wilke | September 20, 2008

Did you ever wish that you had an animated alter ego that could do and say the things that you could only think? I never have, but that’s the central conceit of “I Saved the World from Global Warming”, a short film written and directed by the team of Nolan Wang and Kyle Dickinson. According to its web site, it has played in quite a few film festivals, even winning an award in two. Most likely, this record is due to the strength of its animated segments, because the live action scenes aren’t nearly as well constructed.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll try to find humor in a severed arm as hard as the next guy. But for my money, that severed arm had to have been connected to a character I cared about, or it’s just not that funny. This short would have worked much better if it had stuck to just one style; preferably of the cartoon variety. During the live action sequences, the tone was all over the place, jumping from one awkward gag to the next, hoping that one would get a laugh. For dark humor to be effective, it has to be come from a dark place. Just because someone loses a limb does not qualify the film as a black comedy. A movie has to earn that genre distinction. In this current political climate, global warming is a ripe target for satire, regardless of which side of the debate you fall on (and isn’t it sad there are actually two sides to that debate? But I digress…). To not take full advantage of that is to miss a golden opportunity to follow in the darkly satirical footsteps of Kubrick, Altman, Forman and others. To put it bluntly, this movie has no teeth.

And I swear, if I hear the lead character (doing his best Ben Stiller impersonation) whine: “But I saved the world from global warming” one more time…

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