Neil McCormick (Ben Barnes) always knew he'd be famous. A young Irish songwriter and budding genius, nothing less than a life of rock n' roll stardom will do. But there's only room for one singer in school band The Hype and his friend Paul's already bagged the job. So Neil forms his own band with his brother Ivan (Robert Sheehan). There's only one problem: The Hype have changed their name. To 'U2' And Paul (Martin McCann) has turned into 'Bono'. Naturally there's only one option for Neil: become bigger than U2. The brothers head to London in their quest for fame, but their every action is dwarfed by the soaring success of their old school rivals. And when Ivan discovers the shocking truth behind Neil's rivalry with U2, it threatens to destroy everything. As his rock n' roll dream crashes and burns, is Neil forever destined to live in the shadows of superstardom? And what if the answer lies in... Killing Bono?
Hilarious Rock Band Caper Movie - an Irish Withnail
- Killing Bono review by PV
(0) of (0) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 5
I really enjoyed this movie. It is extremely well written - by class TV writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais - and loosely based on a book of real events. It's a great caper movie - and the farcical events depicted are not so far from those many in rock bands face in real life. Lots of great one liners, so fab acting, and a final performance from Pete 'Kabayashi' Postlethwaite himself, as an Uncle Monty style gay landlord. The only place the movie loses its way slightly is when it tries to tell us a message - to be yourself and not to try and be someone else - something, togehther with a fit American neighbour - which seems to have been added to appeal to a US audience. But these are small gripes. If you want a couple of hours of funny, entertaining, rock n roll capers, then this is a good film to pick. I actually laughed out loud at some one liners in this movie - but then I too used to be in a band and know the music business and its awful wonderful ways. Four and a half stars.
Killing Bono is the vaguely true story of Neil McCormick, an aspiring Irish rock star who had the misfortune to go to school with the infamous Bono who would go on to live McCormick’s dream. In 2003 McCormick published a memoir entitled “Killing Bono: I Was Bono’s Doppelganger” from which director Nick Hamm based the movie.
The film follows the soon-to-be Bono and Neil as they both endeavor to build the ultimate band at their sixth form college; however when Bono attempts to enlist Neil’s’ brother Ivan, a talented guitarist, into his band Neil goes out of his way to scupper Bono’s plans. However, time passes and Bono’s band, U2, go on to become one of the biggest bands in the world whilst Neil and his band, Shook Up! are left struggling in obscurity.
The film is manic and humorous in a distinctly British way; managing to be gentle and quaint in its absurdity and boisterousness. The film is anchored around McCormick’s character who is completely overpowered by jealousy over Bono’s success and guilt for his betrayal of his younger brother. It’s in McCormick’s amiable hysteria that the comedy arises, yet it is hardly boundary pushing or side splitting.
U2 fans will be more impressed with the soundtrack, although in my opinion the characterization and relationships are the film’s strongest points. Killing Bono is an interesting and fun comedy which expects little and simply allows you a non-committal laugh for an hour or so. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for the wonderful late Pete Posthlethwaite in his final role.