The underrated actor Chadwick Boseman turns out another fantastic portrayal of a real-life legend with Get On Up.
Boseman’s performance as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, is the main reason to see the movie. Most will remember Boseman from his role as the infamous Jackie Robinson in last year’s 42, which is a much better biopic overall.
It’s hard for any actor to be successful at depicting an iconic character who has made a stamp on American history such as Robinson and Brown did. Yet Boseman has a certain finesse about him as an actor and for whatever reason he’s able to do it.
Despite Boseman’s performance, viewers will likely leave the theater with mixed reviews.
As far as stories go, Get On Up follows a nontraditional editing style with not much continuity for the narrative. The first scene opens up with the ending scene as the older Brown walks towards one of his concerts and then continues to jump around to different time periods for the first 20 minutes of the film. The remaining two hours don’t get better with linear editing. The film has bad transitions, and some plot points aren’t really explained. The most entertaining parts of the film are when Boseman is recreating some of “Mister Dynamite’s” finest moments on stage.
Between Taylor working on the Oscar nominated The Help, a couple of its Oscar nominated actresses and the success of 42, you would think Get On Up would be a better movie. Had there not been so much jumping around and if it was a little shorter, it probably would be.
Nevertheless, the film is still worth seeing thanks in large part to Boseman. And even with mixed reviews, everyone will agree that Boseman is an amazing tribute to the late Brown.
If he continues on this route, biopics will soon be Boseman’s trademark and he’ll be less of an underrated actor and more of an A-lister. He might have even just made himself a contender for a couple of awards next season.