Not so much a follow-up to as a director’s cut/remix of possibly the worst cinematic atrocity of, oh, the past 115 years of the medium, What the Bleep Do We Know?!: Down the Rabbit Hole intends to sell New Age “fulfilling your potential” bullshit through the revelations of quantum physics. But it only succeeds in boring the viewer into the next realm. Buyer beware: this is just an expanded version of the original — essentially an informercial for the Ramtha cult out of Washington state — with longer takes of obnoxious talking head scientists and vacuous spiritual gurus sliced up with a badly-acted narrative starring Marlee Matlin and cheesy computer graphics. Incredibly, this What the Bleep arrives at the same false conclusions as the first in 45 more minutes.
The film’s thesis? Since quantum physics proves that the observer affects observed phenomena, we therefore shape our own reality. Like, whoa. This “there is no objective reality” philosophy offers the individual the vanquishing of personal problems through easy solutions — if you have positive thoughts, you can create your own future! But even more offensive are the film’s methods: science is presented superficially and out of context, leaps in logic are glaring, and the synth-heavy soundtrack adds to the cult creepiness, as if repeated appearances by JZ Knight (who claims she embodies a 35,000-year-old warrior spirit called Ramtha) weren’t enough. As for pedantry, certain ideas are demonstrated by a condescending animated superhero named Doctor Quantum. But this makes sense, since the “film” apparently aims at insecure viewers with the mental development of ten year olds. In other words, Down the Rabbit Hole is possibly the perfect intellectual babysitter for audiences that seek spiritual approbation from Oprah Winfrey.
Opens February 3 at Quad Cinema