This week sees the release of the first 3D music docu-film starring Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, and Louis Toimlinson. Yes, the long-awaited launch of One Direction – This is Us the movie is upon us! I know that thousands of young fans around the world will be bursting to see their favourite boy-band in action (including my little sister) and the 3.9 million tweets that pounded Twitter during last week’s UK premier is possibly an indication of the teenage mayhem to come. But will it make fans happy? And will it keep long-suffering parents entertained too? I know that many mums are keen on cougar-chasing Harry and all the youngsters have their favourite 1D member, but is that enough to entertain the cinema audience for 92 minutes?
The storyline is simple enough – from humble beginnings the boys head to the X Factor auditions, and are soon put together as the ultimate boy-band of the 21st Century by evil boss Simon Cowell. Although they did not win the show, the overcame their defeat to become part of a new “British Invasion” in the United States, selling 19 million singles and 10 million albums, so they are obviously doing something right in the glitzy world of pop. It is not a work of fiction like Just My Luck featuring the ‘other’ UK boy-band McFly, nor is it a live music screening like Robbie Williams’ Estonia concert that aired in British cinemas last week. Partially scripted, part ‘real life’ and part performance, the movie is an interesting enough background documentary of the band, but does 1D have enough of a fan base to warrant a whole film? It appears so – Early reports of the film previews tell us that the (mainly) youthful audience are just happy enough to scream at the screen whenever the band launches into a song – a little tedious for their accompanying parents, but it’s exactly the same reaction that the Beatles’ films received back in the 60s, proving that nothing really changes in the world of music cinema.
But this is not just a TV movie rockumentary, oh no, this is a multimillion-dollar 3D extravaganza, which needs to make money back from the young cinema-goers and it seems that pester-power will win out against parents – what child can afford 3D ticket prices with their weekly allowances?! That said, it is an enjoyable way for the youngsters to keep themselves entertained and out of trouble during the long summer break. And watch this space for a DVD launch scheduled for just around Christmas! The 1D:3D film launches in the UK today!