The Yes Men Fix the World is a "glorious testimony to the moral power of satire," said David Edelstein in New York magazine. In their second documentary, "politically progressive pranksters" Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno (not their real names) attack "what they see as the capitalist credo (profit over human life)." Like Sacha Baron Cohen, the Yes Men "specialize in gulling the unsuspecting"—the difference is, "their agenda isn't rooted in humiliation" (watch a trailer for The Yes Men Fix the World).
These "anti-globalist performance guys" are "masters of forging corporate rhetoric and media protocols," said J. Hoberman in The Village Voice. They're "funniest when addressing a straight audience, making outlandish claims in favor of the free market and the benefits of unregulated catastrophe." Unfortunately, the Yes Men "almost never draw blood," so they're essentially just entertainers.
"As entertaining as they are," said Stephen Holden in The New York Times, it is hard to know whether the Yes Men's "high jinks accomplish much beyond momentarily embarrassing the corporations and government agencies they misrepresent at business conferences and public forums." In fact, "their failure to shame companies like Dow Chemical into doing what the Yes Men believe to be the right thing brings up the question of why they bother."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The 6 best low-cost smartphones
- Yes, Republicans can impeach President Obama
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- Paul Ryan's anti-poverty plan is another sign of life in the GOP
Subscribe to the Week