7/10 As The Daily Wire begins to put out more film content as an alternative to what Hollywood puts out, director/producer Justin Folk brings audiences the first major documentary from the blossoming film studio. Despite its popularity and relevant, thought provoking content, most major critics from Rotten Opinions have neglected this film, acted like it doesn’t exist or bashed it without having seen it (coughRollingStonecough). To be fair, you might see audience scores giving it a 5/5 stars which would tell me that a good chunk of those people are just giving it the highest score possible because they support either Matt Walsh, The Daily Wire, the film’s content/messages or all of the above. Likewise, the 1/5 star reviews from audience members are clearly left wing trolls who want to bring the film’s overall score down and either haven’t seen the film or turned it off after a few minutes into the film and outside of their fragile safe spaces. While both would be wrong to do, this is a good documentary that while not without its flaws, highlights important subject matter and reveals a lot about many of the people even being interviewed. Matt Walsh ends up being both a pro and a con but overall is definitely a bigger pro (we will get into the cons later). His ability to ask basic questions in a serious and professional way without insulting or attacking anyone he interviews is extremely important in taking the film seriously but also seems insane when some of the people being interviewed get offended by his respectful questions and end the interview. Walsh conducts himself politely and for grown adults to be so fragile that they can’t handle any questions being asked in a calm, professional manner, highlights how pathetic many of the interviewees are. I give credit to the trans activists who completely disagree with Walsh but still conducted productive interviews, answered every question and could handle adult conversations on important topics in today’s society. In addition to how Walsh conducted himself, he was good on his feet when speaking with people out on the streets, not reading his pre-written questions from a piece of paper. His best moment, which I won’t spoil, comes when he asks a gay man about cats and the moment ends exactly as you would expect it to with someone who has a weak argument. Walsh does do a tiny bit of trolling when talking to people out on the street, which perfectly balances with the more serious questions he asks college professors, doctors, health care professionals, etc. On the production side, the film looks really good thanks to Folk and the editing. The cinematography is standard for how limited documentaries are but works well and gets the job done. The musical score isn’t memorable but is smart enough not to overpower these conversations taking place, which is the important thing. There is some great B-roll footage, educational voiceovers and mildly comical moments of Walsh by himself or with his family/wife (who is not a doctor). As for where the film falls short, Walsh does bring down the third act a little bit. The film almost stops what it is doing to promote Walsh himself and his brand for a good 15 or 20 minutes. We get Walsh on Doctor Phil, which was fine but felt a little like him patting himself on the back. Then we get the promotion of his children’s book “Johnny the Walrus” and Walsh’s speech at the Loudon County School Board meeting. Those last two segments felt almost self-masturbatory and like product placement for Walsh as opposed to being super relevant to the film. While the Loudon County incident which The Daily Wire broke is relevant subject matter to the film, not enough time is spent on it to warrant its inclusion. This brings me to my second and final complaint on an otherwise solid documentary which is the running time. With so much content to cover and only an hour and a half to do so, this would have greatly benefitted as a limited series as opposed to a rather speedy documentary. With subjects like manhood vs. womanhood, the difference between men and women, the interviews, historical content, B-roll footage, comical moments, sex, gender, LGBT individuals, transgenders in sports, the medical side of transitioning and what comes after, how the educational system has began to speak to kids about sex younger and younger, etc. there is just way too much to put into this film. You could do a single episode just on the sports issue. A single episode just on “man on the street” interviews at The Women’s March and other locations. A single episode on what is and is not appropriate to teach to kids in schools. Interviews could be spread across each episode with experts in those specific fields. Much of what is covered in this film isn’t given enough time and therefore, information to be looked deeply into. Despite not being long enough and Walsh promoting himself a bit too much near the end of the film, this is an eye opening and important documentary that is both educational and entertaining. It is well made and Walsh does have immense talent when it comes to his interviews (I’d much rather look at him interviewing someone than Michael Moore). My rule of thumb is that conservatives should watch liberal documentaries to step outside of their echo chambers and get a different perspective and that liberals should watch conservative documentaries for the same reason. Despite its obvious conservative bias (which isn’t inherently bad since all humans are biased), I hope that many who lean left/liberal/Democrat or are in the LGBT community will give this a chance and keep an open mind while watching.

#QueerAsFolk / #TheGaylyWire / #SouleCrushingDefeat / #OnTheStasisOfSex / #TransfixedAndTransbroken / #CallMeByYourPronoun

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