Forks Over Knives

(2011)

Genres: Documentary

Review: Forks Over Knives

Transcript for Review: Forks Over Knives

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Our next movie is the documentary "Forks Over Knives," which tries to persuade us to cut out the meat and the dairy from our diets and focus more on fruits and vegetables, It's not just a weight-loss plan but rather a life plan _ as in, it could save your life. That's what writer, director and star Lee Fulkerson argues with an overwhelming litany of talking heads, graphics and stats.
 
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Fulkerson uses himself as a guinea pig, hoping to shed pounds and lower his blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But he also shares the stories of some other folks who are crammed into the same oversized boat. 
 
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"Forks Over Knives" has a point. We, as a nation, eat horribly. But the film is so dry and flavorless, it's hard to sink your teeth into the material the way we should. This is the opposite of Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me" in every way -- in content, tone, production values and entertainment. I mean Kudos to Fulkerson for all the obvious time and effort he devoted -- but his voiceover is so droning, and monotonous and repetitive, he'll make you feel like you're back in high school health class. He utters the phrase "whole-foods, plant-based diet" so many times it could be a drinking game -- but it probably shouldn't be, because then you'd be consuming too much sugar. Thumbs down.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
I think you’re being too nice to this movie. 

CHRISTY:
Bring it, please!

IGNATIY:
Oh my god, just because, you know, a documentary is still a movie. We’re seeing all of these social issue documentaries coming out the last two years, and they are about as sophisticated as a PowerPoint presentation, which this frequently resembles.

CHRISTY:
The graphics totally.

IGNATIY:
A PowerPoint presentation, you know, combined with maybe a brochure and, I don’t know, like a, like a hectoring guy on the street coming up to you with a clipboard. That…

CHRISTY:
And an Etch-A-Sketch.

IGNATIY:
And that pretty much describes what’s going on here. There’s nothing that a person could learn from watching this that they couldn’t learn from a magazine article or from a blog post, you know. This is, I don’t understand why it’s 90 minutes long because it keeps restating it’s case, and then cutting to these human interest stories that aren’t really all that interesting. Um, there’s so much that you can do with a documentary form; they’re not doing it anything with it here.

CHRISTY:
Right, or in Food Inc. which came out a couple years ago, which covered a lot of the same territory with some really startling images of farm animals being treating horribly and some real solutions as far as organic foods go.

IGNATIY:
Yeah, or Our Daily Bread, which did the same without any commentary whatsoever, just with images.