Weird: The Al Yankovic Story review: Daniel Radcliffe shines

Glossy, grandiose and with an inclination to brush over their topics’ worst moments, the Hollywood music biopic has change into massive enterprise over the previous 5 years. In that point we’ve had Queen, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and David Bowie, with movies about Whitney Houston, Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton on the way in which. In truth, so frequent have these motion pictures change into, that it’s straightforward to think about a studio exec with a clipboard someplace ticking off an extended record of getting older stars, greenback indicators spinning of their eyes as they go. One identify you wouldn’t count on to get the money register chiming although, is ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe because the titular parody songsmith, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story makes for the right antidote to trendy popstar blockbusters. For starters, little or no of it’s truly true. Alright, Yankovic was impressed to be taught the accordion by a door-to-door salesman. But his father positively didn’t beat the man half-to-death afterwards. Yes, he did zoom up the charts within the ‘80s with spoof renditions of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ (‘Eat It’) and ‘Like A Virgin’ (‘Like A Surgeon’) by Madonna. He by no means met Madge for greater than 30 seconds although – and completely didn’t date her.

Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna and Daniel Radcliffe as ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. CREDIT: Roku

Yankovic has made tons of money out of being extraordinarily foolish – so it is smart that the movie of his life is just too. After a half-believable intro part which follows Yankovic’s white picket fence upbringing in smalltown America, Weird will get progressively extra surreal till a now-famous, drug-addicted, alcoholic Al emerges bare from a large egg on stage, lined in goo and taking part in electrical guitar to hundreds of screaming followers. The remainder of the movie particulars his return to sobriety – together with different weird highlights corresponding to a celebration shootout with Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar; Al’s top-hatted mentor Doctor Demento (performed by Rainn Wilson); and a John Wick-style combat sequence in a diner. It’s a great deal of enjoyable, and infrequently very humorous too.

Radcliffe, who appears to be like nothing like Yankovic, is clearly having fun with himself. He’s purposely chosen oddball initiatives to work on since Harry Potter, taking part in a sentient, farting corpse in 2016 comedy Swiss Army Man and a personality who wakes as much as discover he has weapons bolted to his fingers for 2019’s Guns Akimbo. Here he takes these eccentric tendencies to a different stage reverse an all-star solid of stellar comedian expertise together with Jack Black, Patton Oswalt, Quinta Brunson and, unexpectedly, Evan Rachel Wood, whose scheming Madonna is a hilarious shock.

Occasionally, all of it will get a bit too on the nostril. The fixed mock-veneration of Al’s lyrical prowess is overdone – and co-writer Yankovic’s determined want to point out he’s in on the joke rapidly grows tiresome. And but, Radcliffe’s profitable efficiency – like a goofy high-schooler who wins the lottery – is sufficient to maintain everybody laughing. Top that off with an album’s value of quirky cameos, together with Conan O’Brien’s genuinely laugh-out-loud Andy Warhol impression, and also you’ve acquired a cult basic within the making. M-m-m-myyy bologna!


  • Director: Eric Appel
  • Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson
  • Release date: November 4 (The Roku Channel)

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