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

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

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.