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Killing Bono
DVD disk
02.09.2012 By: Stephanie Cooke
Killing Bono order
Director:
Nick Hamm

Actors:
Ben Barnes
Robert Sheehan
Krysten Ritter

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
During the eighties, two brothers (Ben Barnes & Robert Sheehan) attempt to become rock stars, while living in the shadow of their former high-school chums, who went on to global stardom as U2.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
KILLING BONO is the partially true story of brothers Neil and Ivan McCormick. A partially true story based on the book I Was Bonoís Doppelganger by Neil McCormick. The two brothers are school friends with the guys would go on to become U2. Without really informing anyone else, Neil makes it his personal goal in life to be even bigger than U2 and in a way, he sells his soul to accomplish the task. Along for the ride is Neilís brother Ivan, who out of love for his brother, follows him wherever he goes. The pair ultimately set in motion a chain of events that lead to a moment of insanity where Neil feels he can solve all of his problems by simply offing his former friend Paul, who by that time had legally changed his name to Bono.

The very first thing that makes this film worthwhile are the performances by Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan. Truthfully, while I love Sheehan (especially in the BBC series Misfits), he pretty well always plays the same character and the person who really shines in the film is Barnes. He really works perfectly in the role of Neil and plays such a great character that you both love and hate. Part of KILLING BONOís charm is that you really want to root for Neil, but between his poor decision making and his shite luck, nothing ever really works out for him. You wind up feeling more sorry for Ivanís character whose devotion to his brother leads him to live a tedious lifestyle as a starving artist.

Ben Barnes really hasnít been in that much, but I mostly remember him being playing fairly broody characters in his roles in Stardust, Dorian Gray and The Chronicles of Narnia (both Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader). In KILLING BONO, Barnes does such a great job of blending into the role that about 90% of the time, I forget that itís even Barnes. Plus, major kudos to Barnes and Sheehan for actually singing all of the songs that are used in the film.

Iím not really sure which parts of the film are true and which parts of the film are made up, but regardless the fact and the fiction seamlessly fit together and make KILLING BONO a completely fun and quirky rock and roll film. While I mentioned that Barnes and Sheehan put forth completely brilliant performances, I should also mention that this is the last film that actor Pete Postlethwaite was in before his death and his work in this film was exceptional.
THE EXTRAS
The only feature included with KILLING BONO is An In Depth Look At The Making Of KILLING BONO. In this feature, we got a 20+ minute look behind the scenes of the film. Director Nick Hamm discusses his vision and what it was like working with everyone and also makes it very clear that this story is not a true story per se. Thereís additional insight from other crew members and the cast including Barnes, Sheehan, Ritter and Postlethwaite.

One bit of this feature that I really enjoyed was watching Barnes and Sheehan record their songs that were to be used in the film. Barnes shows that he actually has talent in the singing department and I honestly wouldnít be surprised to see him crossover into that field at some point in time.

The best part about watching a Making Of feature is seeing how the cast and crew interact with one another. Very often, you can tell when people are just going through the motions and saying nice things about everyone else because they have to. Such was not the case with the gang behind KILLING BONO. Everyone involved looked like they each have enormous respect for one another and they look like they really enjoyed working on this film together.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I wouldnít call KILLING BONO a feel good film in any way, but regardless itís still a lot of fun and a great look into an aspect of the rock and roll world. Almost Famous will always be my go-to rock and roll film of all-time, but KILLING BONO will join its ranks in my Top 5.

The copy I reviewed was the DVD version of the film and while neither the DVD nor the Blu-ray are slathered in special features, I would gladly upgrade my DVD to the HD version of the film. KILLING BONO is definitely worth checking out, itís definitely worth owning and itís definitely (in my opinion) worth checking out again once youíve sat through and watched it.
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