Socialist Worker

Killing Bono

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2246

Film poster

Film poster

Given its title, I hoped this film would be an ultraviolent critique of the U2 frontman’s nauseating neoliberal charity-mongering.

Alas, in fact it is a pleasant but insubstantial tale of two brothers, Neil and Ivan McCormick, and their hapless attempts at reaching the rock megastardom attained by their former high school rivals U2.

Ben Barnes plays Neil McCormick like a slightly less manic Bernard from TV comedy Black Books, while Martin McCann plays Bono as a slightly smugger version of Jesus. The latter performance is thoroughly believable.

There are also nice turns from Peter Serafinowicz as a grotesque record label boss, Stanley Townsend as a Joyce-reading mobster and Pete Postlethwaite—in his final performance—as a fruity but kindly landlord.

The film is set in a magical 1980s where poverty, racism and homophobia didn’t exist.

So pretty much everyone gads about at fashionista parties and is treated to oodles of free cocaine.

For the most part it is played for laughs, though at one point it veers towards an attempt to Say Something Deep about brotherly love.

Thankfully it opts instead for preposterous gangster hijinks.

directed by Nick Hamm

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Article information

Tue 5 Apr 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2246
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