WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY
(director/writer: Eric Appel; screenwriter: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic; cinematographer: Ross Riege; editor: James Kennedy; music: Zach Robinson/Leo Birenberg; cast: Daniel Radcliffe (Weird Al), Evan Rachel Wood (Madonna), Rainn Wilson (Dr. Demento), Jack Black (Wolfman Jack), Julianne Nicholson (Mary Yankovic), Toby Huss (Nick Yankovic), Thomas Lennon (Salesman), Eric Appel (Captain Buffoon), Conan O’Brien (Andy Warhol), Quinta Brunson (Oprah Winfrey), Patton Oswalt (Heckler), Spencer Treat Clark (Steve Jay), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Doctor), Diedrich Bader (Grizzled Narrator), “Weird Al” Yankovic (Tony Scotti); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Lia Bumen/Mike Farah/Joe Farrell/Tim Headington/Whitney Hodack/Max Silva/Weird Al Yankovic; The Roku Channel; 2022)
“No more than moderately amusing and increasingly tiresome as the gags become too repetitive.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Eric Appel is a longtime TV director, who directs and co-writes with the film’s star, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, this exaggerated and feel-good biopic that tells of the life of ‘Weird Al’ from childhood until he was a musician, who immediately makes a name for himself with his weird act of lampooning pop stars.
During the 1970s ‘Weird Al’, an accordion player and singer, came on the showbiz scene by parodying well-known tracks from popular performers, such as from Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” which became an ode to food called “Eat It” and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” which he transformed into a medical anthem called “Like a Surgeon.”
This sympathetic tribute to the nerdy and energetic performer offers a surreal fantasy scenario that satirizes his goofy image, but is no more than moderately amusing and increasingly tiresome as the gags become too repetitive.
Daniel Radcliffe is a handful as ‘Weird Al’, whose engaging performance makes all the silliness somewhat tolerable. But his act is not sustainable, as it runs out of gas before reaching the finish line.
I gave up on the promising film at the midway point, but the iconic entertainer’s diehard fans probably will not.
Also featured are ‘Weird Al’s’ supportive mom (Julianne Nicholson) and overbearing father (Toby Huss).
The facts are largely ignored to make it funnier. But at least one bizarre fact is true, he did record his first hit in a public bathroom.
REVIEWED ON 11/6/2022 GRADE: C+