Review: Across The Universe
Movie based on Beatles' songs falls short of the songs themselves.
Where do I start amidst this ramshackle mess strewn across two hours of film? Between the poor computer graphics that look reminiscent of a badly made decoupage, the flimsy story line, the hackneyed attempt at pleasing Beatles fans with small bouts of trivial information, as well as every ‘relevant’ issue from the 1960’s, I truly don’t know.
The movie follows several college-aged people through their trials and tribulations as they make their way through 1960’s New York, all of which have names from every Beatles song, which has a name in it: Jude, Lucy, Prudence, Jojo, Sadie, and Maxwell, who I believe can be seen holding a hammer at one point. Prudence, the most out-of-nowhere character of the movie, is a lesbian cheerleader, whose only purpose is to squeeze in a few sexual innuendos, and to get one more song onto the soundtrack.
Excruciatingly poor illusions to Beatles songs, like the names of the characters, are strewn throughout, such as the instance where Prudence, the lesbian cheerleader, climbs in through the bathroom window. I stopped, mouth agape, wondering if they were going to mention that she came in through the bathroom window. They did.
Visually, the movie at its best is aesthetically pleasing, and at worst, acid for the eyes. As I said, moments such as Mr. Kite’s (groan) circus, look like a 10-year old’s craft table gone awry. Anything to do with computer graphics, or anything remotely psychedelic, crashes and burns very quickly. Sitting in my seat, with my friend next to me, we sat giggling at how we could have done better.
All this being said, the soundtrack is, to say the least, passable. I thought that songs such as “All My Loving,” performed by Jim Sturgess, as well as “Come Together,” performed by Beatles-cover veteran Joe Cocker, were executed very well, with voices that match. Also, Eddie Izzard’s version of “Mr. Kite,” is hilarious, albeit nonsensical. However, anything to do with Sadie’s character singing solo just didn't do it for me, although, I really don’t like Janis Joplin.
Overall, this movie disappointed me. A long time Beatles fan, I was very excited to go see this with my friends, and was let down by this movies shortcomings. The soundtrack redeems it slightly, but this movie turned out to be a renter. Oh, and Salma Hayek and Bono make cameos.