‘U23D’: ‘All Because of U(2)’

Wed, 02/27/2008 - 10:19am
By: Michael Boylan

I suppose all movie reviews are at least a little biased, but this review is very biased. U2 is my favorite band. I think they are the greatest rock band in the world and are certainly in the top three bands of all time.

I have seen them six times live and only when our seats were buried under a slab of concrete behind the stage at Philips Arena did I not enjoy myself at a show.

“Enjoy myself” is actually too weak of a phrase for how much U2 shows mean to me. My wife has said I tend to treat their shows like church, which is kind of true, if your church makes it feel like your heart is coming out of your chest and you are connected with the entire world with thoughts of love and peace and hope.

It’s exactly like an Obama rally.

(Just kidding.)

So, when the chance to see U2 from the perspective of the front row, the stage, floating above the stage, perched on Bono’s shoulder, etc., in 3D at my local movie theater presented itself, I knew I had to be there.

“U23D,” which is a National Geographic production, filmed five nights of the Vertigo tour in Mexico City and several destinations further south (Argentina, Brazil).

The band plays 13 songs (14 if you count”Jahweh” in the end credits) from all throughout their career. It is a fantastic setlist that includes “One,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Sunday, Bloody Sunday,” and “Beautiful Day,” among others. Though there were some songs I would have loved to have seen performed again – “Walk On,” “Mysterious Ways,” “City of Blinding Lights” and “Elevation,” among others, it still felt like a complete concert and one that kept me enthralled and bopping around in my seat through the entire film.

It can’t compete with being in a stadium live with the band, but it comes close. The filmmakers get right in there with the crowd as it sings along to “Pride,” which is guaranteed to give goosebumps to even the most casual U2 fan, and watching thousands of people jump up and down and pulse to the beat of “Where The Streets Have No Name” also gives the viewer a sense of what it is like to be on the floor at a show.

But the (relatively) smaller moments – Bono playing to the camera – a.k.a. you – during “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” and “wiping your tear away,” or his larger than life projection singing about his father on “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own,” seal the deal making this a concert film that no other act on Earth could touch (Sorry, Hannah).

You get to see Larry Mullen’s beats driving the band through their best songs, Adam Clayton’s bass piercing itself out into the audience and the Edge showing off his considerable skills as the best number two in music in perfect clarity. It is awesome in the truest definition of the word.

No other band in the world could pull a film like this off and we aren’t likely to see anything like this again. This is the best rock band in the world, at the top of their game, with their arsenal of hits at their disposal, out to get the world on its feet and completely together for 90 minutes.

If you have seen U2 before and liked what you saw, see the film and fall in love all over again. If you have never seen the band and think I am going overboard, catch this film before it leaves theaters and you’ll see I’m right.

The only people who won’t like the film are people who don’t like U2 and I can’t even fathom that there are people like that out there.

login to post comments