Killing Bono (15)

Starring: Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan
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The Independent Culture

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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