CINEMA REVIEW: ‘Go ahead, make my play’

Jersey Boys ANL-140625-102010001
Jersey Boys ANL-140625-102010001

JERSEY BOYS (15)

Showcase Cinemas Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: John Lloyd Young, Eric Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza & Christopher Walken

Running Time: 2hrs 10mins

Director: Clint Eastwood

If you thought Clint Eastwood was an odd choice as director for an adaptation of the award winning musical Jersey Boys, you were right, writes MIKEY CLARKE.

I may be wrong, but the legendary western actor doesn’t strike me as a man who has a passion for musical theatre – and it certainly comes across that way on the big screen.

The high energy ‘song-and-dance numbers’ that made the live version a huge success, were surprisingly pushed into the background by Eastwood – in favour of a more dramatic take on the legendary band.

Like the stage version, Jersey Boys focuses on four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey, as Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza), Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) come together to form The Four Seasons.

As the iconic group become increasingly popular, the pressures of success begin to take their toll, as their highs and lows are presented on the screen alongside their hit songs such as Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and Sherry.

Jersey Boys is at its best when John Lloyd Young is singing – because as Frankie Valli his piercingly angelic voice is close to perfection.

But what’s the most disappointing is that it feels like most of the movie’s heart and soul was put into the final fifteen minutes, and if the film in its entirety had half the energy of the ending, it may have come closer to getting near the excellence of the stage version.

Perhaps if I had walked into the cinema prepared for more of a drama than a musical, I may have walked out more fulfilled.

Rating: 2/5