With any documentary from the thoughtful Werner Herzog, there always seems to be a metaphorical stick poking at the subject at hand. Sometimes with a smile, sometimes with frustration, and other times in disbelief. So lo and behold, when it comes to Lo and Behold, he embraces all uses of the stick as he dives into a subject few would embrace.
Lo and Behold is his attempt to tackle a subject almost infinite in scale, and at times one that appears too sprawling to comprehensively or even suitably cover. Yet the 74 year-old comes with an open mind and an inquisitive eye dividing his investigation into succinct and prescient chapters. The film itself is very much like a rollercoaster. At once, there’s the joy, thrill and possibility of what’s to come as the digital world’s potential grows. Yet as our connected story progresses, the rapid descent begins into the deplorable and the daunting.
Herzog handles this mass with style, and his ever-present sly wit. Transforming the initial optimism into tangible, haunting threat is a talent few others could achieve. Yet there’s no bombast in the revelations, more a questioning and introspective look into what humans are, what we will become, and what our purpose will be.
The film dwindles too long in the middle, dwelling in the interesting if overlong side stories. Yet these misgivings are easily forgiven when considering the lasting messages Herzog leaves his audience with. It may not be Herzog who preaches them, yet shining any light on the all-encompassing beast that is the Internet deserves our praise.
Whether it be the Antarctic, volcanoes or the connected world, Werner Herzog makes for a fascinating companion. Although far from perfect, this fragmented, curious and cautious tale of our connected world makes for essential viewing.
CAST: Lawrence Krauss, Kevin Mitnick, Elon Musk, Sebastian Thrun
DIRECTOR: Werner Herzog
WRITER: Werner Herzog
SYNOPSIS: Werner Herzog’s exploration of the Internet and the connected world.