10th Nov2022

‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ Review

by Guest

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson, Toby Huss, Julianne Nicholson | Written by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Eric Appel | Directed by Eric Appel

The unexaggerated true story about the greatest musician of our time. From a conventional upbringing where playing the accordion was a sin, “Weird Al” Yankovic rebels and makes his dream of changing the words to world-renowned songs come true. An instant success and sex symbol, Al lives an excessive lifestyle and pursues an infamous romance that nearly destroys him.

Right from the opening few minutes alone, director Eric Appel lets you know that he knows exactly how to craft a movie revolving around Weird Al Yankovic and his life story – make it wild and make it hugely fictional. Some people may go into this film expecting a traditional biopic that we’ve been littered with for the past few years, but thankfully, that’s not the kind of movie this is. At all.

Yankovic and Appel teamed up on writing duties to craft one of the year’s most insane scripts. If you’ve ever wanted to see Weird Al trip on some drugs and get into huge shootouts in jungles, this movie is for you. And even if you haven’t ever wanted to see that, chances are, this movie is still for you.

It’s a hilarious satire on biopics that isn’t afraid to get crazy, which only makes sense because Weird Al himself is quite a character in real life. Daniel Radcliffe delivers one of the best performances of his entire career in the titular role. He clearly had a ton of fun goofing around with this role and he really brings all the goods. Radcliffe has a ton of range here in what’s inevitably going to be an iconic performance from him down the road.

But also fantastic here is Rainn Wilson who portrays Yankovic’s manager Dr. Demento. Is it still a little hard for me to see Wilson as anything but Dwight Schrute from The Office? Yes. But it was a blast to watch Wilson essentially portray yet another lovable goofball character.

There are some instances in which Weird loses sight of its story and derails itself for a while. I know that this movie is supposed to go off-the-rails at times, but there were some moments in which I genuinely found myself hugely bored. There’s a good twenty-minute stretch with Yankovic and a fictionalized Madonna that felt like it went on for eternity.

It also has some poor editing choices along the way. Sometimes, the film will simply cut to black for a few beats before picking right back up where we left off. In that regard, it sort of felt like a television movie at times. Don’t fret, though. This doesn’t happen too often.

Luckily, Appel’s film knows exactly what kind of movie it needs to be and it succeeds greatly. Whether or not you’re a massive Weird Al fan, you’re sure to have a heap of fun going on this legitimately insane adventure that is sure to put a smile on your face throughout most of the running time.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a suitably zany and oftentimes hilarious satirical biopic brought to life wonderfully by an unhinged Daniel Radcliffe performance.

***½  3.5/5

The film debuted on The Roku Channel on November 4th.


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