One Direction: This Is Us (PG)
* * * *
ONE Direction: This Is Us – or 1D3D The Movie as the band’s true fans the Directioners know it – is a brilliant chance to relax back in your seat, wallow in 1D screentime and tuck into a big box of ... earplugs?
Vue Cinemas have thoughtfully provided tubs of earplugs to dull the screams of excited young fans for mums and other chaperones heading along to see the five boys in action on the big screen.
To be honest, you didn’t need the help at the early afternoon screeening on last Thursday’s opening day in Inverness, though it was just one of the 2D screenings.
The crowd wasn’t huge – maybe because it wasn’t the 3D film.
But even without that extra dimension, there was plenty to love if you’re a fan – or a 1D virgin like one mum new to the band, but admitting when the lights went up that she was now smitten.
And even non-fans believing (rightly) that the film is a bit one-dimensional would have to admit it’s an hour 35 minutes packed with live stage action from their 130-date tour – taking in Europe for the first time – as well as backstage footage and the story of their rise from X Factor solo rejects.
You get that access all areas pass feel too as you get backstage to watch them messing around on forklifts, tops off larking around and running their minders men ragged – even dressing up in disguise to go out and fool fans.
The film even probes a little deeper into the boys’ back stories. We meet their mums and dads and hear from various key people – from Simon Cowell to rock critics to their security staff – to add some juicy extras.
That leads to quite a chopped-up style from director Morgan Spurlock who is best-known for his junkfood-eating documentary Supersize Me.
And you never really get the feeling that the "This Is Us" part of the film title is giving you a warts and all picture of the band.
Can they really be that perfect all the time?
"Yeeeees!" a zillion fans would scream at you now.
But barring a f*rting scene on a tourbus and a couple of tricks played on each other, Harry, Liam, Louis, Niall and Zayn seem suspiciously squeaky clean.
But it’s genuinely a bit scary seeing what life’s like for the world’s hottest band when they go shopping in Amsterdam. The news spreads among fans like wildfire, the band are besieged in a shop waiting for a police escort with fans squeezed up against all the windows.
Nor was it much fun when you got the parents’ view. Liam’s mum was in tears talking about how much she missed him – she even bought a cardboard cutout of him to keep at home.
Or Harry’s mum revealing that "he went to an audition and never came home again".
While he was home, you saw him back at the baker’s where he worked before X Factor, fitting right in and flirting with the older ladies.
It seems more intrusive when the cameras do a close-up on the faces of Zayn and his mother, as she moves into the house he’s bought for her.
Simon Cowell – who executive produces the film (made by Syco, his company) – wants us to know it was the fans’ efforts that kept the One Direction dream alive after the band lost the X-Factor final in 2010.
"Since then, the fans have made it their mission to make them the biggest band in the world!"
At one point, Liam says: "We’re normal, it’s just our jobs happen to be abnormal."
Like the full-on fan love.
In Verona, the boys conduct a huge orchestra of fan voices, quiet to loud, at their command.
And you wonder if they realise their power when you hear a girl fan say: "I know they love me, even though they don’t know me."
Simon Cowell calls the superfans "crazy" and the film cuts to a neuroscientist in a white coat who does a "here’s the science bit" explanation: "Ze girlzz are not crazy ... zey are EXCITED!"
This movie gives plenty – for fans – to be excited about.
The film made $31 million in its opening weekend. Which is probably enough to have made Simon Cowell a little bit crazy too...
Fans would say: Best film ever!
Everyone else: Nice promo for a likeable bunch of lads (with passionate/psycho fans) who are conquering the world and who can sing, but joke that they're "...terrible, terrible dancers" (they're not!). There are no dirty secrets, surprises, but lots of up-close footage on and offstage. A fast music (well 1D might not be around forever) follow-up to the fast food documentary director Morgan Spurlock made with Supersize Me.
Best/saddest line: Liam on romance, saying: "It's hard to think 'If I didn't have all this, would this person like me?"
Best/happiest line: Tour manager Preston saying: "They are still normal boys who like playing games."
Best musical moment: Loads! Choose from live tour footage ... Up All Night, Over Again, I Would, One Thing, What Makes You Beautiful, She's Not Afraid, Kiss You, While We're young, Rock Me, Teenage Dirtbag, Loved You First, Best Song Ever...
SO ARE YOU A DIRECTIONER? HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE YET? If you want to share your review, you can put your comment at the bottom of this article for other fans to see. Or you can write us a tweet by sending your mini-review to: @SPP_mchrystall