One Direction: This Is Us zippy and silly, in a good way
Directed by Morgan Spurlock. Rated G.
Is anybody even reading this? If you are, is it because you want the Straight to take a dump on the world’s biggest boy band, or because you honestly can’t choose between 1D in 3-D or film noir at the Cinematheque? I’m thinking probably the former, but sorry to disappoint. With Morgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock behind the camera—and what’s with that guy’s increasingly weird career trajectory?—One Direction: This Is Us has enough zip and good humour to make it essentially critic-proof.
If you give a rat’s ass about the band, then you’re a 15-year-old girl, and you already know that the seventh art has produced its crowning achievement. If you’re a parent wondering how long 90 minutes can feel, rest assured that the manboys we know as Harry, Liam, Niall, Louis, and Zayn are sufficiently charming to keep things ticking along nicely. Maybe not Zayn. Alluded to by Harry as the “mysterious one”, he doesn’t seem to cut-up like the other guys, but you can always get lost in his smouldering eyes, and a visit to his house reveals impressive skill as a graffiti artist.
As for the rest of them, captured here on a world tour (and after a brief recap of their X Factor origins), they’re all very silly, love their parents, love their fans, and look great with their shirts off. They also have a penchant for mingling with the public in outlandish disguises, as when Niall teases some none-the-wiser fans as a biker-size Glaswegian security guard.
Amazingly, Martin Scorsese turns up in their dressing room at Madison Square Garden, partly to say hi, but mostly to remind us that we’re a long way from The Last Waltz. There are no dimly lit road tales here about watching Sonny Boy Williamson spit blood into a tin bucket, but there is a scene where Niall farts on the tour bus (and denies it).