Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (8)
The story of the Clash is a fascinating one, and spotlighting a kid inspired by, but not a part of, the punk milieu has plenty of potential. But "London Town" just never burns brightly enough.
As contrived as "London Town" is - with a derivative coming-of-age story and improbable, fateful encounters between a struggling teen and Clash frontman Joe Strummer - there is something here of the group's early, principled spirit.
The movie's impersonal, conventional telling of a reasonably standard male coming-of-age story almost tends to make the punk milieu it depicts beside the point.
The raw vigor and protest of punk get co-opted by the movie's coming-of-age story; it's not the heartfelt sweetness that's the chief problem, but how run-of-the-mill and derivative the plot is.
The era's skinhead riots and striking workers - and Strummer's biting, pro-immigrant lyrics - are never more than window dressing in a movie that would rather scatter fairy dust than grit.
"London Town," to borrow from a certain foursome, isn't "burning with boredom," but neither is it exactly "calling."
If you're a fan of British music-themed dramas, London Town is right up your alley.
For all its flaws, the film's underlying sweetness makes it hard to dislike. Good, too, to see punk icon Joe Strummer - played with bolshie vim by Jonathan Rhys Meyers - as the story's unexpected fairy godfather.
London Town is a mostly entertaining romp and its cute fantasy is what makes it work.
The plot synopsis suggests a rather mundane progression of events, and that's exactly what London Town delivers.
It's hard not to enjoy London Town for its mixture of bittersweet comedy-drama, excellent performances, and the use of several of the Clash's best songs of the era. A little bit of hokum in a rock & roll story isn't a bad thing at all.
It's no "Clampdown" or "Radio Clash," but London Town is an enjoyable ride through the late '70s with Joe Strummer sitting shotgun.
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