Review: Pirate Radio
REVIEW: Donít be fooled by the title- PIRATE RADIO is actually just a re-titled, re-cut version of THE BOAT THAT ROCKED, a big budget British comedy from Richard Curtis, the man behind FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, ABOUT A BOY, and LOVE, ACTUALLY. The film was something of a flop at the European box office last spring, and thus, the American distributor cut 15 minutes out of the film, and slapped it with a generic new title.
Alas, it was not meant to be, and seeing it for myself, Iíve got to ask- WTF people? This is a great flick, although, to be honest, Iím probably a bit biased. You see, I work in radio here in Montreal, and one of the stations I work at happens to be classic rock, so this film is right up my alley. But still, you donít exactly have to be a radio aficionado to dig this film. Itís fun as hell, and pushes all the right buttons.
Really, if thereís one weak link here, it might be Sturridgeís story-line, which seems like a leftover from Curtisí LOVE, ACTUALLY but Iíll have to chalk it up to the fact that Curtis seems to share the same remarkably sunny world view as his American counterpart- Cameron Crowe. You see, in Curtisí world- EVERYONE will ALWAYS live happily ever after with a perfect mate, and Sturridge seems to be Curtisí way of tacking some romance onto the film. Still, you canít fault a guy for being too much of an optimistÖ
I should also mention the awesomeness of Kenneth Branagh, as the evil antagonist, Sir Alistair Dormandy, as the Minister trying to shut down our heroes. Now, Dormandy is a pretty two-dimensional villain- with him never coming across as anything less than 100% evil (his Hitler-ish toothbrush mustache pretty much illustrates exactly where Curtis is heading with the character). Nevertheless, Branagh makes a great, hissable villain, and even has a sidekick named Twatt (tee hee hee).
Not having seen the UK version, itís possible that this re-cut of the film has fixed a few of the pacing issues UK critics mentioned in their reviews. Having left the theater wanting more, Iíd like to see the original cut for myself, and hopefully the Blu-ray will offer it. Nevertheless- this cut is what North American audiences are stuck with, and I urge anyone looking for a fun, rockiní time to check this out. As for me- I'm off to download the bitchin' soundtrack.