Monday, June 23, 2014

Jersey Boys Review - 2.5 Stars

I wish I could tell you Clint Eastwood’s “Jersey Boys” has the spark and energy of the great stage musical.  But I can’t.  Eastwood takes the rise and fall Frank Valli and the Four Seasons and turns it into a slow clich├ęd drama, heavy on nostalgia and sentiment and short on the lively music that made the Broadway show click.  Eastwood uses John Lloyd Young, who owned the role of Frankie Valli on Broadway, as the lead actor.  Young has the pipes and knows how to get the music across, but Eastwood emphasizes the story behind the music more than the music.  The only well-known actor in the cast is Christopher Walken who feels like a parody of himself as the neighborhood mobster who takes a shine to Frankie and helps him in his career.  The group up and downs include a run in with loan sharks and the IRS plus broken marriages and a child lost to drugs. I think Eastwood wanted to create a “Goodfellas” with music.  But he didn’t capture the spark of “Goodfellas” and I predict he will leave audiences wishing they could have seen two hours plus of the grand finale that comes under the credits.  By then, “Jersey Boys” has gone too long and captured a spark too late.