Who's in It:
Martin Sheen, Mel Gibson, Ed Begley Jr., Tom Hanks, Phyllis Diller
The Basics: The short answer is that General Motors did it. But they had a lot of help. The government, the automobile industry, the oil industry, you everyone's responsible for the environmental mess we're in. And the electric car could have helped alleviate it, says this depressing factual documentary from director Chris Paine. It's a companion to An Inconvenient Truth.
What's the Deal? GM spent a billion dollars creating the EV-1. Then they kept them on the market for less than 10 years. Then they stopped production. Then they recalled them all and destroyed them. And it's because you wanted an SUV instead. And it's because the current administration is full of former oil-company executives, and their buddies oppose technologies they can't control. And it's because emission standards aren't getting any better or higher. Enjoy that $5-a-gallon gas and the Antarctic desert!
Who's Cooler: This is such a topsy-turvy doc that Mel Gibson, conservative pain in the neck and elsewhere, comes off as more rational than liberal environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. Gibson is an advocate of the electric car and speaks convincingly. It's not enough to make up for The Patriot, but it's a start.
1. The government gave tax credits to companies that bought SUVs.
2. Condoleeza Rice used to be on the board of Chevron.
3. A century ago, there were just as many electric cars as gasoline-powered ones.
Hybrid Moment: Begley provides the eulogy for an EV funeral. Cute and protest-y, but collegiate.