Killing Bono (15)
Starring: Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan
Thursday 31 March 2011
The title of Nick Hamm's hard luck rock'n'roll story turns out to be wishful thinking.
Based on Neil McCormick's memoir, it recounts the efforts of a Dublin music journo (Ben Barnes) to escape the shadow of his schoolfriend (and now world-conquering celeb) Bono and make it as a rock-star himself, with his younger and more talented brother (Robert Sheehan) on guitar. But the McCormicks are destined to be nearly-men, foiled by bad timing (a breakout gig coincides with the Pope's visit to Dublin) and personal inadequacy (even when handed a lifeline, Neil stupidly throws it back). There are some fine things here, including Peter Serafinowicz as a cynical promoter, and an occasional good line ("I can't believe the Pope fucked our band"), but Killing Bono has a marked tendency to drag when it needs to pick up the pace. The music is terrible, and for a comedy it's chronically short of laughs. As the "mop-haired leaping gnome" of the title, Martin McCann is oddly convincing, and much more sympathetic than the real-life version. If Bono were ever to put his life story on screen – and who can doubt that he's got it planned? – he would do well to get this actor signed up.
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