Top critical review
26 people found this helpful
on February 1, 2013
On the surface, the film almost seems like an infomercial, as for its first half it follows Cross on a trek to America, to go on a 60 day juice fast. That is, the fortysomething Cross, who weighed in at over 300 pounds, at the start of the documentary, decides to end his years of dependency on steroids and medicines, to treat an autoimmune deficiency, as well as his high-flying lifestyle, so that he can get and stay healthy. He sees a doctor, gets an ok to begin his change in diet, then spends the first month in New York City, before heading out on a cross-country trek to spread his gospel of juicing fruits and vegetables for their easily digested vitamin and nutrient content. The film then follows the lives of a few people Cross encounters, gets the typical man in the street condescension, as well as a few converts, until, at about midpoint, Cross encounters a truck driver, in Arizona, named Phil Staples, who dwarfs Cross's weight, and checks in at over 400 pounds.
When Cross's fast ends, and he is almost a hundred pounds lighter, he heads back down under until, a few months later, he gets a call from Staples, desperate to change his life, who asks Joe for the help he offered when they met. The second half of the film thus becomes Staples' even longer journey to health, and the film follows him for almost a year, as he loses weight, gains local celebrity, and nurses his older brother, Barry (also obese), into a healthy lifestyle after he suffers a heart attack.
The film gets its message across well, and never comes off as preachy. Cross seems genuine in his mission, and even has his own website dedicated to the cause. The lone negative in the film is the really bad animation that is repeatedly used, for any other critiques of the film would center on what it is obviously not, instead of what it is: a well made biography of two men and their struggles with eating and health.