get-on-up-movie-james-brown-storyFunk, swagger and a lot of hair add up to the biopic that is Get-On-Up, a story about the life and music of the legend that is the “Godfather of Soul”: James Brown.

Raised in South Carolina, Brown grew up in poverty, was handed around from relative to relative and at the age of sixteen he ended up in jail. His love for music was rooted in gospels but he found his first success through R&B and later established funk.

Working from no consistent timeline, director Tate Taylor jumps around Brown’s life story, throwing in bits of his early childhood, his troubled youth, his rise to stardom and his demise. It is a colourful potpourri of James Brown and his constant reinventions, but what makes it particularly hard to follow are the array of characters that appear but are then never seen again.

And while the film is unapologetic about Brown’s flaws, his erupting temper, his drinking and drugs, his inability to stay away from beautiful women (he was married three times and has more than the nine children he acknowledged) over all it doesn’t really do the icon justice.

However, regardless of what might be said of Get-On-Up, one thing is certain, Chadwick Boseman’s performance as James Brown is magnificent to watch. He’s got the moves, the look and while he is mostly moving his lips to Brown’s vocals he definitely does capture those mesmerizing performances that made Brown famous.

As far as biopic go Get-On-Up isn’t bad, if a little messy but its star Chadwick Boseman and the music is worth the watch.

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