It’s difficult for a biopic to stand out due to the high standard set by previous films of the genre, and yet Get on Up manages to do this through one element, and that is the central performance from Chadwick Boseman. The film itself is solid and it is clearly based on a passion for the music, but what really holds it together is Boseman’s performance, because he is utterly fantastic. It wasn’t just an impression of James Brown, it was complete immersion into the role and it showed audiences that he can drive a film.
This film intrigued me for about thirty minutes, it was different and appeared to have the backbone to address heavy topics without flinching. However I soon found that it morphed into a typical cheesy story about love, friendship and second chances, becoming over sentimental and losing the nerve to finish walking the road it started on. With characters that become increasingly irritating it’s difficult to follow them on their journey and hope for a happy outcome because there’s only so much of their bullshit behaviour you can tolerate. Toni Collette is superb, but even she can’t salvage a sunken ship.
This is the type of film I live for. A surreal and intelligent comedy that I can keep coming back to, knowing that I will enjoy it even more each time. It centers on man trapped in a time loop experiencing the same day over and over again, with Bill Murray bringing heart and soul to the three dimensional lead character. It’s a simple concept but the execution is superb, spreading the message that we should not waste a single minute we are given in life. Harold Ramis was a fantastic writer, and this film will always be his masterpiece.