Tom Sturridge, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Chris O’Dowd, Nick Frost
Quentin: Ah, young Carl.
Quentin: My favorite godson! Have we met before?
Carl: I don’t…think so…
Quentin: No…there was a lost decade, so I always have to check.
It’s 1966, and in order to keep him out of trouble, Carl’s (Sturridge) mother sends him to live on a boat with family friend Quentin (Nighy). This particular boat happens to be a pirate radio station parked off the coastline of England, broadcasting Rock & Roll since it is against the law to do so within England.
Apparently a bunch of great songs does not add up to a great movie. It adds up to an okay movie, but not a great one. This is like Almost-Famous-light. You’ve got a young man getting thrust into the world of Rock & Roll, an odd assortment of older adult characters teaching him the ropes, groupies, music, etc. The big difference is that this movie doesn’t seem to have any real clear focus or purpose (beyond “Rock & Roll is coooool!”), and it feels like a more cartoonish depiction of the time rather than having any real authenticity.
The villains in the story are, of course, the British lawmakers who want to do away with vile, disgusting Rock music once and for all. The Darth Vader of this group is Alistair Dormandy (Brannagh), who spends the whole movie trying to figure out a way to shut down the floating radio station. He’s the stereotypical, stuck-up, no fun British type that seems more appropriate for a TV comedy sketch rather than an actual movie.
In fact, there’s a few scenes that seem like sit-com humor, which adds to the ho-hum feel of the entire movie. There are a few good comedic moments, and a few instances where you might get caught up in the fun excitement of Rock music, but overall I found myself just waiting for it to finally be over. It wasn’t an agonizing wait, but it wasn’t really a fun one either.
At least the wait had a good soundtrack…
Rock is cool…anything not Rock is, like, totally square…
10 – 2 for being all meandering and pointless for the most part – 2 for not being as funny as it tries to be + .2 for all the great music = 6.2