According to this film by comedian and talk show host Bill Maher, anyone who believes in the Bible is insane. Maher says God and his son Jesus Christ are myths and lies we tell ourselves, and religious stories are ridiculous. Maher goes around to people of various faiths. From the Vatican to the Wailing Wall, Maher explores why so many people have abandoned logic and reason for the delusion and fantasy that is religion.
Director Larry Charles (Borat and Curb Your Enthusiasm) follows Maher with little fanfare, at times just two guys with mini-DV cameras, as Maher jumps from the Holy land to a Disney land-like religious theme park and doesn't really objectively interview, as he in fact challenges the beliefs of those he encounters.
Maher, who was raised Catholic despite having one Jewish parent, admits to being agnostic. What bothers, or rather worries him, are those people of faith who spout certainty in knowledge of things where certainty is impossible.
Maher is very intelligent, well-read and knows the Bible. What he's concluded is that the Good Book is nothing but fairy tales with any more validity to them than the lie of Santa Claus.
Maher tackles several topics including homosexuality, the Ten Commandments, evolution vs. creation, the violence in Islam to the crazy Jewish rituals. In a boasting of the tenets of Scientology in London's Hyde Park, Maher exposes the crazy beliefs that all religious ideologues can have.
The film meanders. It doesn't have any kind of narrative, a string that pulls us along, or even breadcrumbs to pick up. It merely jumps from religious place to even more religious place, as we watch Maher go after the faiths of folks and peddle his seeds of doubt.
There is a long monologue at the end, which felt a little too preachy on the part of the comedian. I've heard several of his stand-up routines. They were never as heavy-handed as his shtick at the end of this, yet they were more effective. Still, this offensive documentary stands as one of the most hilarious films of the year.
Four Stars out of Five
Rated R for language
Running Time: 1 hr. and 41 mins.