Jahfin Posted January 24, 2008 Share Posted January 24, 2008 http://www.newsobserver.com/105/story/897059.html U2 Gets Even Bigger Than Life ***1/2 Cast: Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Adam Clayton and a cast of thousands Directors: Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington Length: 1 hour, 25 minutes Web site: www.U23Dmovie.com By David Menconi, Staff Writer Given the band's obvious megalomania, it's impossible to consider U2 without asking: Could any group of people possibly take themselves any more seriously? And the self-consciously arty beginning of "U2 3D," U2's new 3-D concert movie, bears that out. Indistinct voices repeatedly murmur the word "everyone" as murky lights appear, finally turning into washed-out shots of people rushing about. But then the band finally appears and goes rampaging through the aptly named show-owner "Vertigo," and the four pretty much run roughshod over whatever level of snark you've managed to work up. "Overwhelming" doesn't begin to do this movie justice. Even if you've seen "Rattle and Hum" or "U2 Go Home" -- even if you've been on the front row of a U2 concert -- you've never experienced anything quite like this, which is the "Lawrence of Arabia" of concert movies. The massive sonic grandeur comes at you in a rush, wave after wave of it, which is remarkable when you consider that this ginormous sound comes from just four guys playing. "U2 3D" was shot at four stadium shows in South America, where U2 played for adoring and beautiful throngs in 2006 at the end of its "Vertigo" tour. But the project's wild card is a performance the band gave for just the cameras, to add close-ups that make you feel as if you're standing onstage with the band. U2's recent period accounts for much of the 13-song set list, including "Beautiful Day," "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" and "Love and Peace or Else." Of course, there's lots and lots of evangelizing. The latter reaches a peak of heavy-handedness with "Miss Sarajevo," which concludes with a partial recitation of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in heavily accented English. But just as your eyes are about to glaze over, the Martin Luther King Jr. tribute "Pride (In the Name of Love)" kicks in and the day is saved. Also hitting majestic notes are "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "New Year's Day," especially the latter with The Edge doubling on piano and guitar -- and peeling off a guitar solo that is still among the most perfect in the classic-rock canon. Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton also get plenty of close-up time. Still, this is ultimately Bono's show. He'd be the first to admit he has a rather severe messiah complex. But he takes such obvious delight in whipping up the crowd that you can't help getting caught up in his rush. By the end of "Pride," he's practically cackling with glee at the delirium he and his mates have wrought. Rock 'n' roll truly saved Bono's life, because you simply can't imagine the guy doing anything else. If nothing else, it's inspirational to see someone who has embraced his life and times and calling in fulfilling his destiny. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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