Movies

Movie Date: Danny Collins

MARS

Al Pacino is going to be 75 years old in three days.

Many actors end up retiring long before they ever reach three-quarters of a century, but he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.

He looks haggard as heck in Danny Collins - those eyes! - but he remains as loosey-goosey as a teenager.

In the many scenes where he flirts with Bening, still relatively youthful at just 56, he shows a humour and charm that makes up for all the sag.

They seem genuinely giddy in each other's company.

It's not always easy for an actor to convincingly capture the vibe of a rock star - just look at Tom Cruise in Rock Of Ages - but Pacino does a fine job.

About the only area where he doesn't quite nail it is the singing.

He doesn't sound like a rock god; he sounds like Al Pacino singing.

While the scenes between Pacino and Bening work very well, the stuff with him and Cannavale come across as corny and melodramatic.

I'm not sure if they intended it to be as silly as it seems, but maybe they did.

The idea is perhaps that ridiculousness does not preclude redemption.

Anyway, Danny Collins pops with life and it's impossible not to grow fond of the characters.

That's not to say that this is a relatable flick in any way.

Rating: 3/5


VENUS

Pacino hasn't had a good track record lately.

Is this tale a reflection of sorts of the Hollywood veteran's spotty career?

Not that it matters to someone who is considered among the best in the business.

It's actually somewhat embarrassing to see the great Pacino flopping around on stage, executing cheesy dance moves and songs.

Yet, that's also the fun of the movie: Pacino doing a Tom Jones, complete with spray tan, flamboyant suits and skimpily-clad groupies.

The writing is schmaltzy and the story is way too predictable.

It doesn't help that Fogelman's directorial debut feels clumsy at some points.

But its strong cast is the real saviour in this redemption story.

Pacino can't do anything wrong here.

From being the fading, shallow, drug-taking star to someone trying to reconcile with his estranged son, to learning to be a supportive dad, Pacino's performance feels real.

A revelation is Cannavale, who holds his own opposite Pacino.

There's a moment where Cannavale's Tom quietly observes how Danny's presence has affected his family, in both good and bad ways.

That scene will melt your heart and put a smile on your face, showing that you, too, have fallen for Danny's charm.

Rating: 3/5


STARRING: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale

DIRECTOR: Dan Fogelman

THE SKINNY: Loosely adapted from a true story, the titular ageing rock star (Pacino) is nearing the expiry date of his career. His life takes a drastic turn when he discovers a long-lost letter sent to him by Beatles star John Lennon. He tries to seek his lost mojo, attempts to reconnect with his estranged son (Cannavale) and perhaps write another hit song that he had not done in 30 years.

RATING: NC16

THE CONSENSUS: Both Danny Collins the movie and the man who plays him prove there’s charm in them yet.

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