One Direction: This Is Us 3D Review
Posted by Nolan Woodford on 08.30.2013
Depending on the number of pre-teen girls in the theater, you may need ear plugs to go with your 3D glasses...
Niall Horan: Himself Zayn Malik: Himself Liam Payne: Himself Harry Styles: Himself Louis Tomlinson: Himself Simon Cowell: Himself
TriStar Pictures presents a film directed by Morgan Spurlock. Rated PG for mild language. Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes Release Date: August 30, 2013
Your enjoyment of One Direction: This Is Us may depend on your level of interest in actually hearing the motion picture. If you are interested in hearing about how the group was put together and learning their various life stories, etc., then this might not be the movie you're searching for. However, if you are interested in screaming at the screen for ninety minutes as if someone inside it can save you from a horror villain, then This Is Us is likely just what the doctor ordered.
And is there ever screaming. Are the tween girls in One Direction's target demographic screaming at the TV when they show up on a late night talk show too?
For those of you, like me, who come into This Is Us with practically zero knowledge of One Direction, the group is more than tolerable for the length of a motion picture. Much like the recently released Justin Bieber and Katy Perry movies, This Is Us weaves between concert performances of One Direction's most popular songs (I'm assuming) while offering some history and following the group on tour. And also like the Bieber and Perry movies, This is Us comes with an upcharge for 3D that contributes virtually nothing.
One difference between This Is Us and those films is that this time there is an Oscar-nominated director at the helm in the person of Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). And Spurlock opts to pass up a great deal of backstory in favor of tossing us onto One Direction's tour bus. If you can't name the five members of One Direction before watching this movie, chances are you probably won't be able to afterwards either. It's typically made clear that This Is Us is really only interested in pleasing its target demographic, many of whom know enough to pen five biographies coming in. Many of the same who see Martin Scorcese introduce himself to the band before their Madison Square Garden show, turn to their friend and say, "Who is that old guy?"
So, we are left with more shots of the teenage boys pulling pranks in their underwear than any real insight into them. We see a few glimpses beyond the "We're cute and have fun!" stuff - such as a couple of band members reflecting on if they might prefer light out of the spotlight - but they are typically glossed over for shinier, happier things. If these guys are out doing what most of us would do as millionaire adolescents on the road, Spurlock manages to keep their affairs at least seem squeaky clean. One of the band members getting pantsed on stage is about as risqué as their behavior gets.
I found the most fascinating bit of insight to be Simon Cowell's contribution to the project, which looked like it was filmed on his lunch break. As Cowell discusses putting the group together on "The X-Factor", he does so as if he could do it again in his sleep. "I thought about it for about ten minutes," Cowell nonchalantly boasts as he mentions even he has no idea why One Direction has become such a global phenomenon. But it goes without saying he's probably sure he could do it again before his lunch is done digesting.
The 411: One Direction: This is Us probably isn't going to win the group any new fans or lose them any of their current ones. Cut like a feature length Vine video, you may learn a little something about the band, but nothing to differentiate them from any other group of teenagers (outside of a stylist) with a PG rating. Director Morgan Spurlock seems perfectly fine with This Is Us being little more than something for pre-teen girls to scream and throw money at.