Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (25)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (20)
| Rotten (5)
Good anecdotes - but the film's willingness to indulge the band's rampant self-mythologising can get tiresome.
When it comes to chronicling their accomplishments on film, all they have to show for themselves is 90 flashy minutes' worth of rockumentary clichés.
Even if you don't care for the band, Kijak's exuberant style which mirrors the music might win you over.
This high-intensity group - resplendent in the plumage of a Sunset Strip hair band, and playing a kind of prog-metal - delivers the goods. In any language.
A maddeningly vague primer.
Yoshiki, the group's eccentric co-founder and drummer, gets most of the spotlight. No wonder. He's a real character, a rich and famous delicate dynamo who's also a designer and in constant pain from his art.
We Are X does well in showing how X-Japan became famous but like Yoshiki himself, is too mysterious and enigmatic that it keeps the viewer from arm's length, wanting to know more.
X Japan's dedication to music remains admirable but Kijak's film places them on a similar pedestal to that of their swooning fans when it's a closet stashed full of skeletons that would've provided the braver and far more worthwhile material to inspect.
What drives [director Stephen] Kijak's film, and adds a universal dimension to a singular band's narrative, is the drama inherent in a group of strong personalities who live for music attempting to create and perform it together.
Splits, suicides, a brainwashing cult and industrial quantities of hairspray and make-up all play their part in the story, with the fragile Yoshiki fulfilling the role of tortured artist to perfection.
Watchable and interesting - if a tad worshipful ...
Much of the film's success comes from the editing of Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringouin who corral a barrage of archival footage, talking heads, observation, and performance into a compelling exploration of one of the world's great rock phenomenons.
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