ByRory O'Connor, writer at
Breathing movies. Humbly writing about them.
Rory O'Connor

Taking stage musicals to screen can be a tricky sort of job and, by the sound of things, Clint Eastwood hasn't quite hammered it home. The latest film from the 84-year-old screen icon opened in many territories this week and the feedback, from both critics and punters, could hardly be considered warm. Jersey Boys currently sits with a slightly rotten 55% aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes while also failing to top the box office too.

Indiewire seems to know why:

“Jersey Boys” is wall-to-wall fantasyland showbiz, expertly shot and boasting fine performances, but it is in the spirit world between stage and screen where it loses its footing.

Film critic Charlie Schmidlin goes on to blame a heavy handed use of visual references, a lack of interesting female characters and an overly loyal commitment to the theater tricks of the original script:

Eastwood, perhaps overeager to stay true to the rhythms of the play, lets each actor roll out their emotions in mid-performance monologues that keep us at a constant remove. Not a moment can breath without a glib comment on what we’re seeing, something film easily has the ability to display.

Praise is given, of course, where due; mostly in the direction of a reliable turn from Christopher Walken. It's interesting to note that Eastwood- a consummate professional so enamored in cinematic lore- seems to have forgotten a lot of what cinema is all about. By the sounds of things he has failed in bringing this smash hit to the screen by failing to offer it the great story telling weapons which that screen possesses.

We must be getting close to Eastwood's swansong but we hope this won't be it.

Check out Schmidlin's full review here and let us know what you made of [Jersey Boys](movie:342876) in the comments below.


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