Frankly, this is almost a terrific movie. Bits of it – especially the early scenes and the section that’s set at SXSW (South By SouthWest) music festival are utterly hilarious and savagely ironic.
But in an odd change of tone, the last third segues into strange philosophical pondering and seems out of place here. Did Lenny (now Leonard) Abrahamson watch his “What Richard Did” again and decide this movie needed big meaning?
Frank is played by Michael Fassbender in the oddest mask outside Grand Guignol theatre. He’s a musician in a band that has a ridiculous name. Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) longs for a music career and falls in with Frank and his group, which includes Scoot McNairy’s Don and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Clara.
There is the most bizarre soundtrack outside a Frank Zappa concert. YouTube may well be a sponsor since scenes offer extensive advertising for that organisation.
Ireland looks lovely and America looks enormous. For a film that aims for the kooky and original, there are quite a few annoyingly obvious observations in the script. It’s a thin line between ironic and irritatingly adolescent and this doesn’t always stay on the right side of that line.
Still, it was a great choice for the free screening for members of Stratford East Picturehouse and most of the plot is twisting and entertaining.
The last section fails to be quite as clever as it wants to be.