You really hear all there is to know about The Who along the way: from Tommy to two drug overdoses to the influence of guru Meher Baba (the "Baba" in "Baba O'Reilly") to the 11 people killed at a 1979 Who concert trampled trying to get into the show, still the deadliest concert event in American history. Even Townsend's run-in with the law over a child pornography incident earlier in the decade is covered, if only on a surface level.
Yep, it's all here, and not much you couldn't learn through a quick couple of web searches and reading The Who's Wikipedia entry. All of which combines to make this review so difficult to write. The Who are indeed an amazing band, with some incredible ups and downs over their career. But this two-hour documentary of all that is decidedly staid, almost like a PBS docudrama intent on informing the hell out of you whether you're awake or not. For a subject like the Civil War, that might work. For a band known for smashing guitars and rolling Ann-Margret in baked beans, it doesn't. Even the narration, from co-director and career film editor Paul Crowder, can be sleep-inducing at times.
Still, Who fans will want to check it out, if only to get recent looks at the band's two surviving members and a glipse at rare footage of early Who shows. Just don't go in expecting an "amazing" time.
Also included on this DVD is a second film, Amazing Journey: Six Quick Ones, with more footage and interviews.
Run time: 237 mins
In Theaters: Saturday 25th October 2008
Distributed by: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 1
IMDB: 8.2 / 10
Director: Paul Crowder, Murray Lerner
Producer: Nigel Sinclair
Screenwriter: Mark Monroe