Film Review: Jersey Boys

JERSEY BOYS

The songs are certainly memorable in the film adaptation of the musical Jersey Boys. It is a shame that other aspects of the film pale in comparison.

Frankie Valli is a teenager with a big voice growing up in Jersey. Along with his friends, Frankie dreams of making it big. As success comes within reach, The Four Seasons still have some obstacles to overcome…

The premise of Jersey Boys is decent, but this is let down by the execution of the narrative. The elements for a rags to riches tale are present; talented individuals, shady pasts and a meteoric rise to fame. Yet the film lacks the emotion that would really engage the audience. Moreover, early scenes of dodgy dealings and gangsters in New Jersey are clinical rather than gritty. It feels as if the film is not trying to be  authentic in the protagonists background, but neither is it effective in generating a reaction in its audience.

The film has some moments of drama, but emotional scenes are not successfully conveyed. Instead, the pace of Jersey Boys makes the film feel much longer than it actual run time. Some scenes could have easily been trimmed or omitted with no depreciation of the central narrative.

Although Jersey Boys concentrates primarily on Frankie Valli, other members of the group have their own strands. These gel together well enough. Nevertheless, there are some aspects, particularly in the latter half of the film that are not fleshed out properly. As a result, they appear superfluous.

Clint Eastwood’s direction shows none of the sharpness of some of his previous films. Jersey Boys suffers from the same issues of his previous two films in being overlong with a cumbersome narrative execution. John Lloyd Young is fine as Frankie, although does not look like a teenager in the least in earlier scenes. Vincent Piazza is more convincing as Tommy, whilst Christopher Walken is underused in a poorly written role. The ageing make up in the penultimate scene are laughable.

Clint Eastwood foray into musicals is unfortunately unsuccessful. This will probably not put off die-hard fans of Jersey Boys, but the film will have little pull beyond this audience.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of cinematic treats for Good Friday, including Gone Girl, Jersey Boys, and X-Men: Days of Future Past

Jersey Boys

The most surprising thing about the upcoming screen adaptation of Jersey Boys is that Clint Eastwood directs it. Not an entirely new genre for Eastwood, nevertheless it is an interesting choice. Jersey Boys is set for release on 20th June 2014.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The third X-Men: Days of Future Past reveals a bit more about the plot of the film. What it does not explain is young Charles Xavier’s hair. Maybe Wolverine reveals what is in his future, follicle-wise, so Xavier decides to grow luscious locks while he can. X-Men: Days of Future Past hits UK screens on 22nd May 2014.

The Fault in Our Stars

Here is the trailer for the upcoming adaptation of John Green’s best-selling novel The Fault in Our Stars. Starring Shailene Woodley as a teenage cancer patient who is forced to attend a support group by her parents, The Fault in Our Stars is out in UK cinemas on 20th June 2014.

Gone Girl

In case you missed it: the trailer for the hotly anticipated Gone Girl was released this week. David Fincher’s team sure do know how to cut a trailer. Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, the cinematic adaptation of the best-selling novel Gone Girl is set for release on 3rd October 2014.

The Equaliser

The Equalizer

Denzel Washington stars as a former black ops commander who fakes his own death in The Equaliser. I am guessing that this film will be more action thriller than The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin. The Equaliser is due to hit UK screens on 10th October 2014.

Annie

The first trailer for musical remake Annie was released earlier this week. I only saw the original for the first time recently, and my lasting impression was that Miss Hannigan was everything. So Cameron Diaz has big shoes to fill. Annie will be released on 6th February 2015.

Sabotage

Arnold Schwarzenegger leads strong cast in action thriller Sabotage. With Arnie getting back into the swing of things, it is funny to think that the action star was Governor of California not too long ago. Sabotage bursts on to UK screens on 7th May 2014.