Say what you will about their talent, public love lives or collection of impressively awful tattoos, but One Direction is undoubtedly the biggest boy band on the planet right now.
Following the lead of the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, One Direction released “This Is Us,” a documentary-slash-concert-film, this weekend.
Interspersed with live concert footage is the backstory and day-to-day lives of five of the most most famous young adults in the world.
The film is intended to both cater to the existing fanbase, and entertain the casual moviegoers.
I assume most people who walk into this movie are already fans, but the film tries valiantly to appeal to all audiences.
Each of the boys is deliberately introduced with the maximum appeal, as all are carefully presented as being from a regular, working-class background.
The director Morgan Spurlock, famous for his documentary “Supersize Me,” captured their lives with a surprising amount of access.
It’s a much more personal movie than, for instance, Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never,” which focused primarily on concert footage with just a touch of the Bieb’s private time.
“This Is Us” is flooded with behind-the-scenes footage, from Niall Horan recording shirtless to Harry Styles getting his bum pinched by an old woman in a bakery.
It is, for those who care to let themselves take it in, delightful.
As previously stated, those not already involved in the fanbase are unlikely to be as charmed by their antics, but even the naysayers should be impressed by the live concert video.
As a whole, the movie is competent, if not particularly groundbreaking or uninspiring.
It’s been unfavorably (and rather unfairly) compared to the Beatles’ classic “A Hard Day’s Night.”
Spurlock lacks the technical skill and artistic flourish of “Hard Day’s Night” director Richard Lester, and the boys, while earnestly sweet, simply don’t have the wit or the script that the Beatles did.
There are some cool moments, though, like the comic-book style animated sequence during the live footage of “Teenage Dirtbag,” but this is a movie obviously made with a young audience in mind.
The mission here is to not rock the boat, which is understandable, but it also means that you feel a bit like you’re watching a propaganda film, rather than something that feels deeply personal or “real.”
It’s a good, solid movie that will do decently at the box office and please those who were already going to love it anyways.
2.5 out of 5 stars