The Greatest Movie Ever Sold seems like it was an idea that Morgan Spurlock had in the shower one day when he asked himself “What sort of a film can I make that seems smarter than it actually is?”. The answer was this film, and it very much is something that tries to hide the fact it isn’t as smart or innovative as it thinks it is or wants it audience to think it is.
The entire premise for this film is to make a documentary about branding, advertising and product placement in film and fund said film by those very means. It is a strange concept and one that could work if done correctly. I don’t think Spurlock has really done this correctly, at the end of the film what possible message has he conveyed? Did we learn anything new? Well firstly there doesn’t seem to be a message other than yes branding, advertising and product placement happens all the time, and we already knew this. The film ultimately felt like he was branding, advertising and product placing himself rather than anything else. It was not about this film, it was about him, and his ego stroking.
Spurlock is a charismatic person, he is a great speaker, witty at times and easy on the eyes for the most part. It is never made clear what his ultimate goal for this film is in regards to the subject matter. Instead I personally was left feeling like this was a way for him to get his face and his own product out there, and hiding that agenda by making this film. Advertising is everywhere, you’ll even find it on this site. We live in a world where the sky is the limit, there is so much more out there and we want to stand out from the crowd. It is no wonder that there is so much money put into it, and things do get funded from advertising, branding and product placing. It is really something beneficial to both parties, and when done right it can be tasteful.
No one wants their brand misrepresented and it is no surprise that Spurlock had trouble finding an in with getting the brands to be shown in the film. Super Size Me showed McDonald’s in the worst possible way and his stunt in that film was awfully stupid on his part for his health and misrepresenting a lot of issues. No one wants that for their company, and it was actually refreshing to see that the companies and brands were for the most part treated with respect and they weren’t shown in a bad light. I am sure there would have been some crazy clauses in their contracts with Spurlock but could you blame them? One of the nicer things done was to help give money back to a school by making a deal with them, they were struggling and seeing how much it meant to them to get a helping hand was good. In maybe my favourite part of the film we went to a place that had banned outside advertisements, and in turn the city looked clean. It was quite a sight to see, and something very rare when all we usually see are ads at every turn. We’ve become so accustomed to them, we almost don’t notice it anymore. The contrast there was very eye opening, but the scenes there didn’t last long and so much more could have been done.
In the end the film didn’t break any new ground, we didn’t really learn anything. It was just there for the sake of being there, and Morgan Spurlock gets his name out even more for this huge stunt. He is in almost every frame of this film, we hear his voice telling us things through-out, he was the biggest product being sold. In a way I could say smart move, you’re getting you’re name out some more as it has been a few years since your break out hit. But at the same time it just makes him seem like an egotistical person with nothing much to say. Do something of worth, and stop with the ego bs. He has the means and the smarts to really make a film with impact, and the only one stopping him is himself.