No matter how noble the purpose, it takes a pair of brass cojones to ask moviegoers to buy tickets for what's basically a nearly two-hour-long commercial. That's a physical attribute Joshua Tickell can claim as his own with the theatrical rollout of Fuel.

No matter how noble the purpose, it takes a pair of brass cojones to ask moviegoers to buy tickets for what's basically a nearly two-hour-long commercial. That's a physical attribute Joshua Tickell can claim as his own with the theatrical rollout of Fuel.

A chronicle of his own experience with traveling on biodiesel (Tickell wrote a bestseller on the subject) and an exploration of promising new energy technologies, the doc beats the biofuel drum strongly and steadily from beginning to end.

Tickell's approach eventually yields some fascinating information about oil-free initiatives in other countries and the algae-based fuel alternative on the horizon, but before that, you have to sit through an unnecessary rehash of the Bush administration's abuses of energy policy. (Does anyone at this point not know that Bush is a former oilman?)

He also includes related personal anecdotes that feel tangential and relates depressing facts in the most basic, naive terms, juxtaposing a shot of a middle-aged guy chortling in front of an Exxon logo with the bloodied face of a small child.

The film has a strong conscience and isn't without style, but Tickell doesn't evoke the engagement level of his most obvious influences, Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore. And though they work with a slant, both seem to start their films with a question. Tickell seemed to know the answer that worked for him going in and just went about selling it.