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Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie Review: SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL

Not Rated

You can watch the trailer here

I first heard about Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll a few months ago on the tailwind of early Oscar talk. All the buzz for the film centered around the lead performance of Andy Serkis, most famous for his work as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as Ian Dury. Admittedly, I knew absolutely nothing about Dury or his life going into the film, but considering the film's title, I could easily imagine just what the movie might entail.

Unfortunately, you can easily predict every twist and turn this movie's going to take. Perhaps Dury's life actually went like this, but it's essentially the standard tale of every rock and roll legend: they gain fame, the fame gets to their head, they dabble in drugs, they crash, they resurrect, then they die. In that sense, I just felt like I'd seen this story oh so many times before. This screenplay was a little jumbled, and it skipped over a lot of time without really making much reference to the in-between stages. It seemed as though director Mat Whitecross and writer Paul Viragh wanted to focus on the ups and downs of Dury's career rather than his music or his influence on the punk genre.

If the film does have one thing going for it, it's the acting. Serkis is every bit as good as the buzz suggests, and he's extremely captivating to watch. He brings a wide range of emotions to Ian Dury, and it makes him a likable lead worthy of your full attention. In addition, we have a few supporting characters that definitely carry their own weight. Naomie Harris is great as Dury's girlfriend Denise, and Bill Milner is fantastic as his son Baxter. I have no beef with the performances in the film; every actor brings something to the table.

Still, I just couldn't find a way to bring myself fully into the film. I'm gonna have to say it's a result of the jumbled screenplay that started off strangely and didn't give me the opportunity to implant myself in the film. However, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll may be worth the watch simply for Serkis's great performance.

Grade: C+
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