Review Roundup: Chadwick Boseman Stars as James Brown in New Biopic GET ON UP
Universal Pictures James Brown biopic Get On Up hits theaters today, August 1, 2014. In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs 42's Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in the film.
Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods oF Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
Let's see what the critics have to say:
Stephen Holden, The New York Times: "Get On Up," directed by Tate Taylor ("The Help"), thrillingly captures the frenzy of Brown's music, and the forces driving that frenzy, both musical and personal. Like its gyrating, spasmodic staccato beats, "Get On Up" refuses to stand still. It whirls and does splits and jumps, with leaps around in time and changes in tempo that are jarring and abrupt and that usually feel just right.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: At 2 hours and 18 minutes, the James Brown biopic "Get On Up" runs exactly two hours longer than the knockout YouTube clip of the real Mr. Dynamite performing up a storm in 1964's "The T.A.M.I. Show." It is not time well spent.Despite the linked advantages of generous helpings of the man's high octane music and a star performance by Chadwick Boseman that's little short of heroic, "Get on Up" is more frustrating than fulfilling, a disjointed film that suffers from having a more ambitious plan than it's got the ability to execute.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Yet "Get 0n Up" is a triumph - a messy, qualified triumph that even at 138 minutes makes an incomplete case for Brown's meaning to American life and culture, but a triumph nevertheless. The filmmakers seem to understand that they don't have to sell this African-American story to mainstream audiences the way Jackie Robinson once had to win over a nation of white baseball fans.
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter: In sync with its subject, director Tate Taylor's movie, too, can be wearying, especially in the strenuously scrambled chronology of its early sequences. But under the guidance of producer Mick Jagger, it's that rare musician's biography with a deep feel for the music. And inChadwick Boseman, it has a galvanic core, a performance that transcends impersonation and reverberates long after the screen goes dark.
Jen Chaney, Washington Post: One could describe Boseman's performance in "Get on Up" as electrifying, and that would not be wrong. But it's more accurate to say that watching Boseman transform into James Brown, who died in 2006 at 73, is like watching a dude invent electricity while the idea for electricity is still occurring to him. Tate Taylor - the director of this film, the follow-up to his 2011 late-summer hit, "The Help" - needed a vibrant, convincing Brown to make this movie work. Lordy, oh lordy, did he get one.