Russell Brand, hirsute imp of the perverse, gets to play at extended length (ahem) a rock star "legend" he first incarnated in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
As Aldous Snow, Brand is a man-child of monstrous disinhibition, hoovering drugs and bashing through scores of hot young women in the style of a Jaggeresque rock princeling.
After years of rehab and semi-obscurity, he gets the chance of a comeback when a record company intern, Aaron (Jonah Hill), persuades his money-minded boss (Sean Combs) to recreate Snow's finest hour at the Greek Theatre. The set-up involves Aaron trying to get the dissolute rocker from London to L.A. in time for the gig.
Hill does some of his best work as the mild-mannered fall guy, enduring as much bad behaviour – including an emergency insertion of Snow's drug stash up his jacksie – as a celeb handler ever had to, and Brand shows he can act, even if he's not nearly as funny as he imagines. But the film itself is scrappy and disjointed, lurching from one set-piece to another without really establishing a story, or even a point of view. While it's clear that rock-star petulance and vanity are being spoofed, there is little at stake dramatically or morally – the bedroom threesome towards the end is weird rather than funny. Oh, and the music's awful.