Hot-button issues like terrorism, illegal immigration, and US imperialism are diversionary flags González Iñárritu waves without actually signaling anything.
Among filmmakers working in this fashionable crazy-quilt-of-humanity genre, many less talented ones are even more convinced they're making an important statement about life. Babel is so accomplished and urgent as spectacle that maybe it's folly to expect more than the rewards of an engrossing, sweeping surface. Babel might not be a great movie, but you can't watch it without knowing González Iñárritu will someday make one. SFBG
Opens Fri/3 at Bay Area theaters
See Movie Clock at www.sfbg.com for theaters and showtimes
For Cheryl Eddy's interview with director Alejandro González Iñárritu, go to www.sfbg.com/blogs/pixel_vision.