‘Get On Up’ Review: Chadwick Boseman amazes as James Brown

Chadwick Boseman impressed fans and critics with his performace as the iconic Jackie Robinson in 42, but in Get On Up Bosemann truly transforms into the Godfather of Soul, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. Directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) Get On Up doesn’t achieve greatness in this biopic, but captures the energy, inspiration and legacy of this great performer.

Chadwick Boseman is amazing as James Brown in "Get On Up"

Chadwick Boseman is amazing as James Brown in “Get On Up”

The film follows the rise of Brown from poverty, abuse and dysfunction in childhood to a creative and unique influence on music. Brown broke through race barriers, rules of music promotion and stereotypes for artists and their music. Taylor’s ensemble cast is great with Lennie James and Viola Davis playing James’ volatile parents and Octavia Spencer becoming his surrograte mother Aunt Honey.

Nelsan Ellis, who plays Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood, is really enjoyable as Brown’s lifelong partner Bobby Byrd and gets some of the film’s most memorable and powerful lines. Dan Aykroyd is wasted as the stereotypical Jewish business manager, Ben Bart, which reveals the big flaw with the film: Taylor’s approach.

The time jumps and time-lapsed sky shots don’t help the film and just distract from Boseman. The narrative doesn’t have the punch of an Oscar worthy Best Picture as Boseman is just incredible as young and old versions of Brown. Crazy James Brown with a shotgun is just as entertaining as funny James Brown cracking on reporters – all because of Boseman.

Transitioning in chapters to capture time capsules of Brown’s life as Mr Dynamite, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Soul Brother No1, the Godfather of Soul,  or the Original Disco Man work like a CD rather than film narrative. The only emotional connection to the screeen comes through Brown’s music not from the script.

Overall Get On Up receives 3 1/2 stars out of 5

If you interested in the music more than the filmmaking, then you will enjoy the film immensely – add atleast one star.

Get On Up movie poster

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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