Killing Bono

"Good"

Killing Bono Review


Based on a true story, this film vividly captures the frustrating randomness of fame. The sharp and funny characters are nicely played, but the plot gets lost along the way, spinning in circles and trying too hard to ramp up the action.

In late-70s Dublin, brothers Neil and Ivan (Barnes and Sheehan) form a band called The Undertakers, creating a friendly rivalry with their friends Paul, David, Larry and Adam (McCann, Mark Griffin, Sean Doyle and David Tudor), who form The Hype. Then The Hype changes its name to U2 and becomes the biggest band in the world. Over the years, Neil's bull-headed attitude scuppers every chance he and Ivan get, even when they find minor fame in London with the help of manager/girlfriend Gloria (Ritter). he also indebts them to an Irish gangster (Townsend).

The film starts out with a blast of fresh energy, as the actors dive into the 1970s setting and bring out clever character details. Barnes is watchable in the central role, developing a lively and realistic sense of chemistry with Sheehan. And their interaction with McCann's Bono feels extremely authentic. On the other hand, Barnes isn't quite charming enough to overcome his characters darker corners, and the script's repetitive structure doesn't help.

The way lightning strikes U2 but continually leaves the McCormicks struggling seems rather cruel, although much of the trouble is a result of Neil's awful decision-making, which makes him a rather unlikeable character. And this is a problem for a film that's trying to build sympathy for him. Instead, he's so annoying that we actually feel he deserves each indignity. And there are a lot of them.

There are some terrific scenes along the way, as well as some great (and not-so-great) music. Scene-stealers add constant humour, including Townsend (playing against type), Serafinowicz (as the brothers' promoter), Postlethwaite (as their lovably leery landlord) and Treadaway (as an angry record exec). And the film is smartly assembled, traversing from 1977 to the mid-1990s with an entertaining sense of time and place. And of course there's the fact that this really happened. Well, we assume it's true, because some events have clearly been heightened for comedic effect.



Killing Bono

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedies

Run time: 114 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st April 2011

Distributed by: Cinedigm Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Ian Flooks, , Piers Tempest

Starring: as Neil McCormick, Robert Michael Sheehan as Ivan McCormick, as Karl, as Gloria, as Leo, as Danielle, as Nick, as Bono, as Hammond, as Gary, as Erika, Stanley Townsend as Danny Machin, John Prudhont as Frankie, Mark Griffin as The Edge, Sam Corry as Paul McGuinness

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.