Is it stupid to review Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous as a film? Does it even count as a piece of cinema or would reviewing it be like critiquing advertising, or a war report?
Right now I'm waiting for Beyond Famous to come out. The Invisible Children of the Corn have promised its release soon, and the internet is waiting with bated breath. Well, people like me with blogs to write who saw their traffic double the last time they released a video are waiting with bated breath. It seems quite likely that the millions who watched the first Kony 2012 have moved on. Right now, Twitter's top worldwide trending spots—which were both the cause and the effect of Kony 2012's success—are being hogged by #worsttimestogetaboner and#i'msinglebecause, suggesting that the internet isn't in a particularly righteous mood today.
Bad news for Uganda. Bad news for the Ugandan military, anyway. Mans want guns.
So, what can we expect from Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous? Well, it's a tough call for Invisible Children. On the one hand, much of the planet now sees them as homophobic evangelist automatons whose madness is evident in the mawkish, manipulative style of Kony 2012. On the other hand, the mawkish, manipulative style of Kony 2012 is what made it a hit. It was a film made by people who think Forrest Gump was perhaps a little elitist. So now they're left with this quandary: to give up on their spooky popularism, or to continue turning themselves into pop cultural icons.
I imagine they'll try to keep themselves out of the film as much as possible. They'll say: "It's OK for you to hate us, just don't let that affect the donations to a good cause." It's a fair point. Of course, the commentators shall reply: "Perhaps you shouldn't make a film about you and your kid if you're trying to get people to talk about Uganda, you weirdo."
It certainly seems that poor old Invisible Children were more than comfortable enjoying previous years of publicity-free funding, where they could dutifully plug on with directing their music videos to appeal to High School Musical fans and emo kids. Unfortunately, they couldn't stay underground forever; after all, their whole reason for being was to spread awareness (supposedly). It's just a shame that once they did get their very personal message about Uganda out there, their leader had an eroto-sadistic breakdown in public.
The subhead of Kony 2012 Part II: "A Closer Look At The LRA And Solutions From The Ground," suggests that Invisible Children have realized that making snazzy Google adverts about complex issues will only get you so far before intelligent people rip you apart. It's hard, though, to see anything weightier going quite as viral as the first one did. Frankly, the only way they could ever repeat the success of Kony I is if Kony II featured Jason Russell standing in a Ugandan village, sadly pumping his erection towards the camera and screaming about the devil. And they know this. Which means this is just an exercise in PR. A defense of the Invisible Children brand and yet another obstacle between donations and Ugandans.
Which is unlikely to change anyone's mind about them being twats.
Anyway, we'll stick the video up when it comes out and you can judge for yourselves.
Follow Alex on Twitter: @terriblesoup