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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.