Starring: Domnhall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy
Directed By: Lenny Abrahamson
It’s a unique movie, that’s for sure. It’s the kind of quirky film you expect to see written by Charlie Kaufman, but this wasn’t. It’s a dark comedy, it’s a quirky comedy, but is it a good comedy?
Jon (Gleeson) is a rather terrible songwriter who doesn’t really know he’s terrible, and he’s trying to embark on a career in music. By a twist of fate, he gets offered the chance to be the keyboardist for a band whose lead singer is Frank (Fassbender), a man who wears a giant mask on his face. He’s quirky, his music is quirky, and Maggie Gyllenhall is his angry maybe-lover. Jon believes he knows what’s best for the band, and it causes friction within as they build to a gig at South By Southwest.
Again, the question was “is this a good comedy?” I didn’t think so. As much as I loved the quirk factor, and Fassbender’s performance, a lot of the film lost me. It never actually made me laugh, and never really worked as a comedy. It wasn’t really serious enough to be a drama either. It’s just a below average comedy that is boosted by a cool concept and a strong performance from Michael Fassbender. The thing is, it never really feels like Fassbender, it feels like Jim Carrey or Will Ferrell. Someone who is known for having unbridled energy and childlike enthusiasm. Not usually words I would use to describe Fassbender.
Also, I will give the actors props for actually playing their instruments and the music for the film live. A lot of actors don’t actually play when they have to in films. It’s not a bad film, it’s just a weird comedy that isn’t particularly funny, but is worth watching for Fassbender, and really for the concept of the film.
FINAL GRADE: C+