With poker-faced impersonation as their weapon, and World Trade Organization officials as their target, the Yes Men pull off one bold prank after another in an effort to raise political consciousness. And when their outrag... more »eous stunts are actually swallowed, hook, line and sinker the Yes Men must up the satirical ante and push the art of public spectacle to hilarious new heights!« less
"Fair warning: This is a movie made by liberals, and will likely be enjoyed more by left leaning individuals.
I went to see this documentary after seeing an exhibit at MASSMOCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) entitled, "Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere", at which I saw first hand the famous gold lame leisure suit.
The film takes you on a journey into the filmmakers' 'image correction' involvation hilarious, clever, and bizarre impersonations and stunts. The Yes Men are most famous for their impersonation of and eventual staged disbanding of the WTO. They attend a conference in Finland as representatives from the organization and also appear on MSNBC Europe.
These guys have balls, and aren't afraid to stir things up. I laughed so hard my sides hurt. Come on... They use the names, "Granwyth Hulatberi" and "Hany Hardy Unruh".
I highly recommend this movie, especially to anyone critical of big business, immoral/faceless corporations, and anyone who likes practical jokes. I've heard The Yes Men called the socially conscious version of MTV's Jackass, and that may not be far off base.
You'll laugh in admiration."
Erica Anderson | Minneapolis, MN | 12/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had the immense pleasure of seeing "The Yes Men" in the theater a couple of months ago. The entire premise of the film revolves around a group of pranksters called The Yes Men who travels around the world impersonating members of the World Trade Organization. What started out as a practical joke quickly evolved into satire. Andy and Mike are the two main individuals who formulate and execute their practical jokes. Andy and Mike are definitely not for globalization and free trade. The whole joke begins when The Yes Men creates a website that basically looks like the WTO's website, not thinking that they would be taken remotely seriously. What happens from there all snowballs and quickly becomes a long-running Punk'd segment. It is non-stop laughs when Andy and Dick lectures at a university on the idea of recycling food in third world countries. That was probably my most personal favorite segment of the film. The college students' reactions were absolutely funny. The first segment where the pair travels to Europe and Andy dons on a gold suit with a huge phallus-looking device was equally funny. I enjoyed "The Yes Men" and the film reaffirms my idealogies on globalization and free trade. We need more people like The Yes Men to throw a monkey wrench into globalization and the WTO."
Yes Men is a Missed Opportunity
Bryan Carey | Houston, TX | 12/08/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum star in this documentary as the "Yes Men"- two political activists who impersonate members of the World Trade Organization and proceed to go on television news shows and present lectures to audiences of intellectuals and students about this organization. They get the idea after setting up a web site that is very similar to the actual WTO web site. So similar is the site, in fact, that the two men start to get speaking engagement offers from official organizations who mistake them for actual WTO members.
Mike and Andy decide this is a great opportunity to expose the WTO and all its economic wrongs. They go to these speaking halls and make television appearances where they continue to pretend they are WTO spokesmen, while satirically attacking the group they represent by telling, point blank, what this organization is all about in their eyes: A group that exploits poorer nations for the benefit of wealthier countries. They score a couple of hits in their efforts, but most of their success comes in the humor department. When it comes to educational value, this documentary misses the mark. And that is a real shame because a documentary such as this one would have presented an excellent opportunity to explain the many wrongs of the WTO.
Instead of presenting the cold, hard facts about the WTO and why it is supposedly so bad for the world economy, this documentary focuses too much on being funny and in doing so, it loses some credibility. As far as the humor goes, there are some funny moments, particularly the scene where one of the "Yes Men" is on a news program with other men giving his take on world economic policy. Another funny moment comes when the two guys are presenting the WTO agenda to exploit the underprivileged of the world to a group of students who grow more and more impatient with them with each passing minute. These scenes offer some humorous value, I will admit that. But there isn't enough educational material to explain why the WTO is apparently so evil. You get the impression that these are just a couple of pranksters who aren't really all that serious about their disliking of the WTO. They seem more interested in being funny than in educating the viewer.
Some of the logic is twisted and flawed in this documentary, too, and the guys jump too quickly to the worst conclusions in order to support their own views. For example, there is one scene where they give a presentation to a group of economic intellectuals and they talk about ways to control workers. When they are finished and ask for questions, no one has any and they receive applause when they leave. When they reflect back on this, they conclude that this reaction (or lack thereof) means the group of people was in full agreement with what they talked about. I don't know about others, but if I had just heard a speech this bad, I wouldn't ask any questions but my reason would be because I wanted the two jokesters to get off the stage as quickly as possible.
"Yes Men" is valuable only for its humor. It spends too much time showing the two guys as they talk about the next speaking engagement and what they are going to discuss next and it doesn't offer much in the way of intellectualism or sound reasoning. It is a missed golden opportunity by two anti- WTO political activists. "
Daniel S. Dunnam | Brooklyn, NY USA | 04/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i don't understand a lot of the criticism of the yes men by other reviewers. i mean, all the right-wing reviews are to be expected ("flaming" is what amazon's user reviews are all about isn't it?!). so, obviously, that's a given.
but all the 2 and 3 star people who were like "i didn't find it funny" and "too much talking" and what not, that's what i don't get.
i found the movie terribly funny. even the benign banter whilst driving around or prepping i found funny. but the scene where they present in "the suit"... man, i was almost crying it was so funny.
and as for the "what's the point!?" criticisms, all i can say is: by that logic, what's the point of anything? i mean, what do you want? it's a movie? the best it can hope for is to inspire the viewer. in this case either to act, or to possibly feel like there is a little bit of hope in the world since the only audience to challenge their right-wing, lassie fare, free-unmitigated-trade-to-the-max insanity are the college kids (aka the future policy makers), and because the one time they present the more positive ideas of the left, their audience of economists (who you'd expect to hate it) all express such joy at someone finally taking a stand for what they know to be right, but never get to talk about. if this is the gauge by which you judge success or failure of what a film should do, i think it succeeds admirably.
in short, i thought the yes men was very funny. on netflix (where *accurate* star ratings are helpful, not silly ones, like in this venue), i gave it 4 stars. i gave it 5 here because i want to try to offset some of the 1 star people."
"We Steal Their Identities So That We Can Make Them Honest"
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 09/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You might often hear the phrase "You've got to see this to believe it," and although I'm going to risk sounding like a cliché, you need to see this documentary to believe it.
It isn't that THE YES MEN is some spectacularly put together documentary that'll blow your mind. It isn't. It's not filmed particularly well, and needed some help in the editing department (lingering on guys working on their computers is about as entertaining as watching paint dry).
But the subject matter and the response by supposed "professionals" in the business world were so striking as to be baffling. Let me explain.
This is the story of two geeks named Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, The Yes Men. They are antiglobalization activists who've gone extreme in order to get their views across.
Initially they set up a website that mirrored George W. Bush's, including placing some rather rude (if not true) commentary about our current Prez on the site. After having enough fun there, the two whizzes set their sights on The World Trade Organization, and put up a mirror site of it, too. But this time they went a bit further. Occasionally businesses from around the world would mistake their fake WTO website for the real one and would send our two pranksters invitations to meet and talk about WTO matters. This included a segment on CNN and then, later, to European countries where they set up outlandish topic discussions (including a huge phallic device used to monitor employees -- employees who were somehow connected via slavery by Mike and Andy -- and to stimulate certain gluteal muscle groups when things went right or wrong). What was astonishing was the acceptance of this device by the European country in question (sure, they all laughed when they saw it, but they didn't completely dismiss it either!).
Our two WTO phonies finally get the response they wanted after visiting a college campus posing as WTO officials and sporting the idea of recycling human waste into poop-patties in order to help feed starving third world populations. FINALLY the college folks understood the mockery and threw things at Mike and Andy.
It is a bit disturbing, however, that someone could pull-off such an incredible hoax. The ending, too, is astonishing; our two boys go to Australia and state that the WTO is shutting down and will be reinventing itself in a more humane fashion. This was picked up by numerous news agencies and sent around the media globe!
Although interesting, disturbing, and flat-out hysterically funny in many portions, the documentary does lag when it shows our two main guys sleeping, playing with their computers, or other items that really bogged the story down and nearly brought it to a halt. But if you hang in there and watch the entire film, you'll be pleasantly -- if not worriedly -- surprised."