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Killing Bono
Click for full sized poster

Killing Bono

Starring Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Krysten Ritter, Peter Serafinowicz, Stanley Townsend, Martin McCann, Pete Postlethwaite
Screenplay by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Simon Maxwell
Based on Neil McCormick’s memoir “Killing Bono: I am Bono’s Doppelganger.”
Directed by Nick Hamm
website: http://killingbonoblog.com/

IN SHORT: A good sit for those with the spirit rocker inside. [Rated R. 114 Minutes]

Here we have the story of the boy who was a friend of he who would become Bono; of the man he would become, pretty damned jealous of his friend's success and determined that, with his brother (who could have had a place in U2, but we'll come back to that) at his side, the pair shall lead a band that will be even greater and more significant than U2 shoulda woulda coulda ever been . . .

The boy -- Neil McCormick (Ben Barnes) thinks big but he's never made the right choice ever in his life. Ever. Like when Paul (Martin McCann), his school pal, wanted to ask the boy's li'l brother Ivan (Robert Sheehan) to play guitar in his new band, The Hype. Neil never passed the offer along
because he dreamed of that big brother team up that rock legends ((like the Righteous Brothers or the Everly Brothers a generation before) are made of. But with more rock. You know what we mean.

This was long before Paul changed his name to Bono and The Hype became the phenomenon called U2. Neil's mistake, whether selfish or not, is just the first in a long line of mistakes in the management of a band that never ever got any kind of recognition of the kind that the other Irish band managed.

Anyone who is rock and roll savvy will literally roll their eyes at the stupidity of Neil's decisions and/or sheer flat out bad luck (if not sheer flat out dumb luck) that goes along with it. Like scheduling a major showcase concert -- that's the kind of event that record companies send
their A&R reps to to check out new talent; that booking agents and talent managers attend seeking out fresh meat to manage, mold and make profit from -- on the same day as the Pope's one day only visit to the Gaelic Isle. Or to try to do said showcase a second time, this time turning down an offer to open for their school pals (U2) at an open air show called Live Aid so they could delight 500 of their die hard fans at a decripit bar/ showclub whose name is not spelled Wembley Stadium.

For all the stupid moves your humble reviewer (who worked the Live Aid concert back in the days of our first career) observed on the big screen, we just naturally felt for these bozos. Just did. Whether or not they succeed on any level, with or without the help of school mates Bono and the Edge (and/or Larry and/or Adam, the rest of their pals from U2) you just feel sympathetic for these guys. You want them to succeed even if deep down inside, you know that it's just a matter of time until the walls come crashing down.

All the while, buried in the background scenery filled with huge billboards promoting U2 album after U2 album, is the fact that Kevin never told Ivan about Paul's -- Bono's -- offer. Not to mention maybe a bit of festering jealousy on Kevin's part about the success of a former pal. And a gun. And the involvement of the Irish Mob. And the interest of a certain landlord (Pete Postlethwaite) in the band... not having anything to do with the music mind you...to keep the lads on their toes.

We gotta leave something for the Third Act, folks. Even if we told you what happens, it wouldn't matter. For those that hate rock 'n' roll and despise it as the Devil's music or some such nonsense, ye make take joy in watching these yutzes fail. For those that love the music, that love the struggle to succeed that makes any story great, well, you can guess which side we're on.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Killing Bono, he would have paid . . .

$6.50

Those of the generation who grew up on rock, and fans of U2 for that matter, should add a buck or two. Killing Bono is a fine sit.

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.