Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
In this feature-length documentary, filmmaker and biofuel advocate Josh Tickell explores the origins of America's dependence on fossil fuels, eventually detailing the cross-country road trip that he took in his biodiesel-converted van, campaigning for the more sustainable, environmentally friendly fuel. Tickell interviews people in his film from all over the spectrum of fuel use, from oil company executives to those devastated by water contamination stemming from oil companies to Midwestern families considering buying Hummers. Hoping to paint as complete a picture as possible of American fuel use, Tickell explores how we fuel our lifestyle in the present and how we can hope to in the future. … More
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Critic Reviews for Fuel
Thanks to an informative, buoyant tone and the director's own restless intelligence, the film preaches to the unconverted with passion, energy and graphics so clear that they would make Al Gore weep all over his PowerPoint.
A peppy, bouncy documentary that is watchable and informative, although Tickell's celebrity name-dropping at times detracts from the serious message.
It's a slickly enjoyable production (if unfocused and bloated), and his bullet-point tips are persuasive; but dude, there are better ways to humanize these issues than crying on camera.
There's not a single (even moderately) dissenting voice in Fuel; you're either on the biodiesel bandwagon or raping the planet.
One of the refreshing traits of this action-nudging documentary is Tickell's willingness to wrestle his own biases.
Audience Reviews for Fuel
This thesis-driven documentary makes the case for biofuels as a viable replacement for oil.
On another site, I make the case that conflating our involvement with the Middle East with oil only is a myopic point of view (link at the end of the review), and this is just one of the arguments presented in Fuel that bothered me. Additionally, almost every other argument was a pathos argument that deployed the same overblown sentiment: "What about the children? We're borrowing the environment from our children." In the words of George Carlin, "Fuck the children." Even if you're not angered by the obsession with children that this film deploys, you'd have to admit that the argument loses its effectiveness after it's repeated almost every five minutes. I also wonder if people fifty years from now will look at the scene in which two people drink bio-oil the same way we look at footage of people fifty year ago drinking DDT.
Overall, there is some good information in this film, but the arguments get repetitive and tired.
This is a really good documentary facing the obvious problem of our civilization. America needs to get off of oil & pursue alternative energy namely biodiesel. America needs to invest heavily in the future & this is a fact. This film reminded me a lot of the book "The End of Oil".
Fuel is entertaining and informative although it tends to wander and be a little broad on its focus. It does, however, end up being an important call to arms for a number of environmental issues, with "homebase" established upon America's ridiculous dependence on foreign oil.
I believe one of the most powerful aspects of this movie is the awareness that what's "out there" is truly sufficient for the energy needs of the world - it's only a question of how to make it reality. From the miraculous production of bio-diesel through algae, to the mega-tree possibilities to implementation of current renewable technologies... the message is clear and powerful, "We already HAVE the ability to leave fossil fuels forever behind!"
I think there were too many bullet point sections and the movie branched from a targeted story about the history of bio-diesel into overall environmental issues. It would've been improved with more structure and focus.
As far as the information in the movie... definitely should be an interest and concern to citizens everywhere. I was surprised by the rise & take-down of bio-diesel, but am excited for its new future and the future of our energy technologies. It is a movie that ends with a lot of hope, and I appreciated that welcome optimism.
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