Storyline: Two brothers attempt to become global rock stars but can only look on as old school friends U2 become the biggest band in the world.

Director: Nick Hamm

Writers: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenai

Stars: Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan and Krysten Ritter

 

 

Review: Ask anyone under 25 what U2 means to them and most likely they’ll roll their eyes and state that they’re a parody of a rock band , effectively an Irish Staus Quo who receive undeserved acclaim from music critics who should be put out to pasture . . This is disingenuous and misinformed . For people of a certain age U2 were as much the 1980s as The Beatles were to the 1960s and some of us were there right from the start . Whilst Duran Duran and Human League were selling millions of synth pop albums which became dated overnight Bono and the boys were strumming guitars making music that will never date . If you think U2 are a band built upon hype rather than talent then go to youtube and type in ” U2 I Will Follow The Tube ” and you’ll see a performance that is almost messianic in its life affirming streamlined beauty . Music is the greatest , most moving type of art whilst the music of The The has possibly changed my life through outside factors U2 remain my all time favourite musical icons

KILLING BONO is based on the memoirs of Neil McCormack and tells the story of McCormack and his brother Ivan . Neil and Ivan want to start a band and when Paul Hewson front-man of a band called The Hype asks Neil if his younger brother wants to join The Hype Neil refuses because they’re brothers and their band is going to be the biggest band in the world . Paul Hewson changed his name to Bono and The Hype to U2 and Neil spends the next eleven years becoming more and more bitter at the band’s success as his own plans for fame and fortune hit dead ends

There’s a few good points to the movie . The incidental music does mirror that of U2 and there’s a few performances worthy of mention such Peter Serafinowicz as coke head manager Hammond , . Pete Postlewaite in an under used role as the camp homosexual landlord Karl and Stanley Townsend as violent gangster Danny Machin though to be honest Townsend is often let down by the screenplay

In fact the whole film is let down by the screenplay . It’s very difficult to believe there’s a lot of truth in it because Neil McCormack must be a real life inversion of Jamal Malik from SLUMDOG MILLIONIARE . Every plan he comes up with seems so cursed by bad luck that karma must have it in for him . Either that or he must be the most stupid person to have ever lived . Considering he has the intellect to write a memoir one can’t help thinking there’s a massive amount of artistic license involved . Take for example the scene in the Dublin toilet with Neil and Ivan where someone drops a gun only to have another character put two and two together verbally which is overheard by a third character leading … well let’s just say it’s too contrived to be taken at face value if someone says it’s true

There’s also the problem as to who the film will appeal to . My cinema visit had a small handful of people not much younger than me .who probably grew up with the band and therefore could get the in jokes . If they were die hard fans like me then they’d be able to spot massive anachronisms such as Boy being released at the same time as the Pope’s visit . Boy was in fact released a year after the Pope’s visit to Ireland . Likewise Dead And Alive’s You Spin Me Round wouldn’t be playing in a Bohemian nightclub at the time of release of War in March 1983 and who would have booked a concert for their band on the day of Live Aid in July 1985 ? A stupid person ? One suffering from bad karma ? Or most likely a person being economical with the truth . The truth is anyone who saw the concert live knew well in advance it was going to the legendary event it’s remembered for

KILLING BONO is a fair film . It isn’t going to be a massive success and one wonders if it might have worked better if THE COMMITMENTS where quixotic plans of making it big in the music world still in the public consciousness . It also suffers from the feel that it’s made for TV a major problem with many Brit movies and will probably be remembered for being the final movie of Pete Postlewaite

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