Crossfire Hurricane

"Good"

Crossfire Hurricane Review


Watching the Rolling Stones' home movies while they reminisce on the soundtrack is thoroughly entertaining, although this documentary is such an inside job that it doesn't really tell us anything we don't already know. Indeed, the Rolling Stones commissioned this film for their 50th anniversary, and while it doesn't shy away from showing their heyday of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, it never gets into their personal lives at all. And it only covers the first half of their half-century.

As well-educated blues musicians on the London club scene, the Stones enjoyed reasonable success, but it wasn't until they were dubbed the "anti-Beatles" and set about to play on their anarchic images that they rocketed to global stardom, setting teen girls' hearts (and bladders) aflutter across Britain and America. But their bad-boy behaviour also got them into a lot of trouble. Guitarist Brian Jones dropped out of the band in 1969 (and drowned less than a month later), while his replacement Mick Taylor quit in 1974 due to drugs, replaced by Ronnie Wood. But the partying hit a low point with Keith Richards' arrest for heroin in 1977, after which they cleaned up their act. And their early 1980s tour was their biggest ever.

Oddly, the documentary suddenly ends here, making us wonder if this is just part 1. Although their successes since then have been a bit more sporadic, they would certainly provide some telling backstage moments. By contrast, much of the footage here (mainly in grainy black and white shot on Mick Jagger's own home movie camera) centres on the band goofing around in their down moments. It's edited in with lots of concert footage, so the soundtrack is like an early greatest hits collection. And there are also lively TV interviews done through the years. For narration, the filmmakers use audio recordings done specifically for this movie, with telling memories and witty commentary.

Fans of the band will enjoy the archive material, especially as it's put into chronological context. It's also energetic, with a snappy pace and a real sense of the bandmates' personalities, especially Richards' bone-dry sense of humour. So it's odd that there's virtually nothing from the last 30 years besides one credit-sequence song from Martin Scorsese's 2006 concert movie Shine a Light. But the most disappointing thing is that, despite letting us into their dressing rooms, the musicians never let us into their private lives at all.

Rich Cline



Crossfire Hurricane

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 18th October 2012

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Victoria Pearman

Starring: as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself

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