Movie Review: Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?


Not what I expected.


Starring Morgan Spurlock. Directed by Morgan Spurlock.


I remember back a few years ago when a documentary called “Super Size Me” was released. In it a guy from New York City (Morgan Spurlock) wanted to see what would happen if he ate McDonald’s fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a period of 30 days. Contrived, true, but never before had a documentary shown as what we do to ourselves. Following that FX network gave him a show and he produced “30 Days,” where various people did things for 30 days to see what would happen to them: one mom did binge drinking to show her newly college-attending daughter would would happen, a guy became Muslim, and even Morgan and his wife decided to see if they could live on minimum wage (both him and his wife ended up in the hospital). When he announced he was going after Public Enemy #1, Osama Bin Laden, I had high hopes for what he would find, if anything.


“Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden,” falls short of expectations. Spurlock, expecting a baby within a few months, decided that he could try making the world safer for his kid if he could hunt down and bring to justice OBL. Whether you believe in his reasoning or not (a little past contrived if you ask me) you’re in for a trip to countries that hate us, or rather the American government (a resentment felt even inside the U.S.)


From New York to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tora Bora, Tel Aviv, and back Spurlock finds what citizens in other countries really think about us: they hate the American government, not so much the people. Through animated sequences an explanation is given as to who the U.S. Sided with and why, which leads to understanding why others can be so pissed at us. And with the fact that the American people are shielded from this information (or blissfully ignorant) we have a deeper look into ourselves.


My complaints about this movie: the beginning starts with immature computer animation. In it a CG Spurlock does battle with a CG Bin Laden “Mortal Kombat”-style, using everything from “Redneck Power” to a “power mustache.” This would have worked better if it had been restructured to the end of the film; it was amusing, but not needed.


Once you get past that Spurlock goes on the hunt for OBL but twenty minutes it becomes “I’m an expecting father. What advice to do you have for me? By the way, what do you have against America?”  The actual “hunt” seems to be derailed by constant worry about becoming a dad and missing his wife’s delivery which brings me to ask, why did he leave so close to the end of his wife’s pregnancy?


What did impress me about the film is the fact that rich people not caring about the lower levels/citizenry is a concept not confined to the U.S; the Middle East has malls as well as shantytowns. Then again, they also have villages wiped out by tanks and artillery. If Spurlock wants to visit places that have that “third world feel,” he should do more traveling across the States.


I’ll recommend this film for people who want to see what other cultures think of us. For those who already know here’s another factoid for ya: they love wrestling. Who knew?


Does he find the Notorious OBL? His “journey” ends in Pakistan where all “intelligence” points to (except the Pakistanis, who say he’s in Afghanistan). Looking at a giant metal sign that says “Attention Foreigners: No trespassing beyond this point…” Spurlock stops and turns around. “I’ve got a kid coming. It’s not worth it.”


My grade: C+/B-

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