Someday, perhaps, it will be possible to look back on "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" as a relic and reminder of the rhetorical logic employed during the era of George W. Bush. Until then, it should be seen simply as a tiresome ideological bludgeon, an attempt to deceive audiences into believing it is one thing when it is, in fact, quite another.
Entertainer, pitchman and political commentator Ben Stein begins the film by intoning that there is a growing conspiracy within the academic and scientific communities blocking out proponents of "intelligent design" as a means to explain the origins of life and human development in favor of lock step enforcement of Darwinist theories of evolution.
By setting the argument up in this way, one which is never fully pursued or proven, Stein has, of course, attempted to utilize a textbook Karl Rove-ian tactic to "reframe" the discussion, putting it in terms by which his side seems the valiant underdog, suppressed and belittled by its opponent, while turning notions of right and wrong, freedom of speech and even the meaning of science upside down.
A movie review is, of course, not really the forum for debating the ins, outs and what-have-yous of intelligent design, but it certainly can be said here that if a film like "Expelled" is meant to be the vanguard action for turning public opinion, the movement has a long, long road ahead.