Across the Universe
Runtime: 2 hr 11 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Julie Taymor
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther, T.V. Carpio, Spencer Liff
A psychedelic trip back to the 1960s.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 8 years ago
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, director Julie Taymor's experimental and highly imaginative musical, is a real treat for your ears and eyes. A long ode to the Beatles, the story is set in the United States during the turmoil of the Vietnam era. A psychedelic trip back to the 1960s, it features almost non-stop singing.
"Is anyone going to listen to my story," Jude (Jim Sturgess), a dock worker from Liverpool, sings to us in the film's opening number. Not nearly enough, as it turns out, since the movie's box office receipts have been modest at best, probably because ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is just weird enough to be off-putting to many potential viewers.
But, if moviegoers are willing to take a chance on ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, this good-spirited film will reward their efforts to see it. Thoroughly entertaining and delightfully tuneful, this fun little film will have you singing to yourself for days afterwards. In fact, it is just the sort of movie that you'll want to own, not rent, when it comes out on DVD, since you'll want to be able to play your favorite parts again and again.
Joining Jude as the story's other lead character is the equally aptly named Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood). Both of them sing lots of your favorite Beatles songs, as well as many you may not remember. They aren't the only singers, as just about everyone in the cast gets an opportunity to sing at some point.
One of my favorite cinematic oddities is PINK FLOYD THE WALL. Where ACROSS THE UNIVERSE comes up short in comparison to THE WALL and to other musicals like MOULIN ROUGE! is that ACROSS THE UNIVERSE plays it safe too often and includes too much talking and narrative.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is at its best in its most outrageous scenes. These memorable moments of singing and dancing include a neon-lit bowling alley, a sea of suits on Fifth Avenue, a host of life-sized G. I. Joe-type figures during a physical for draftees and a march through a jungle of little plastic palm trees.
One of best sung sequences occurs when T. V. Carpio, dressed up as a high school cheerleader, walks through a football field. As the players bounce all around her in slow motion, she belts out, "I wanna hold your hand."
My advice. See ACROSS THE UNIVERSE now while it's still in the theaters and buy it when it comes out on DVD.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE runs 2:11. It is rated PG-13 for "some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.