St. Paul Pioneer Press – “Addiction Incorporated” review: Smoke bomb

March 8, 2012 : By Chris Hewitt

You’ll never believe this: Tobacco companies put stuff in cigarettes to make them addictive.

Oh, wait. Maybe you will believe that, since every newspaper and TV news program in the country reported it 20 years ago. “Addiction Incorporated,” however, acts like it’s a scoop. And that’s only the biggest way in which this unnecessary documentary goes wrong.

The wrongness starts with the opening scene of a scientist named Victor DeNoble telling us he’s dyslexic, a story whose significance will not become clear until the end of “Addiction Incorporated,” by which point you won’t care. Just so you know, he was labeled unteachable but ultimately became a teacher himself.

That stuff is followed by detailed science that bogs down the movie for no good reason and then animated sequences that make the movie cutesy-poo for no good reason.

Eventually, the film gets back to DeNoble and tries to become the story of a man who developed addictive formulas for tobacco companies until he woke up and smelled the nicotine. But “Addiction” veers away from him for long stretches of time as it charts the wrongs of the tobacco industry.

Admittedly, they are big, big wrongs, but they are so well-documented that anybody who’s remotely interested in this topic already knows everything “Addiction Incorporated” has to say.

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