Published Oct 11, 2012Trashed opens with a highly stylized credit sequence, dramatically highlighting the many dangerous substances thrown in the titular trash around the world every day. A Vangelis score reminiscent of Zelda for the GameCube denotes a higher than average production value and overall seriousness of tone, generating the foreboding sense that an abundance of pedantic preaching is about to unfold.
And without fail, the first tidbit, or argument, starts in Lebanon, where a mountain of trash sits aside the Mediterranean Sea, spreading outwards to the shores of other countries, creating mass pollution. In the middle of it all is Jeremy Irons, skulking around with his best despondent face while his heavy-handed voiceover doles out an abundance of purple prose about the horrors of the worldwide garbage crisis. There's even an extended take of him sitting by the water looking sad, commenting, "This is deplorable."
Soon enough, we learn that it's not just Jeremy Irons that is pissed about our mass consumer ideologue. Folks in Yorkshire plan to building a housing development adjacent a toxic dump on land filled with toxins. We're given a moderately patronizing look at the Science behind airflow and chemical disbursement, as well as some fun animated factoids about the number of dumps and garbage incineration facilities there are around the world.
This latter point about incineration and pollution brings out an abundance of experts and talking heads, all hammering home the obvious observation that burning toxic items isn't good for the planet. There is even some statistical, Erin Brockovich speculation about the increase in cancer rates around these facilities.
Unfortunately, despite all of the landfill footage, pretty animations and interviews with enraged environmentalists, Candida Brady's professionally rendered, but droning, documentary says nothing that isn't already popular common knowledge. What's worse is that there's little discussion about ways to resolve the problem. Her doc is instead preoccupied with employing broad scare tactics to force people onto the bandwagon, exploiting panic but not having the foresight to contextualize a mission of improvement.
If, amidst the familiar preachy white noise, Jeremy Irons had played crazed twin gynaecologists looking for their mutant vagina Dead Ringers tools in mass landfills, this doc could have stood out and had some lasting effect. As it stands, this bland entry into an already overpopulated canon does and says nothing worth noting. (Blenheim Films)