1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A boat trip down Memory Lane,
This period is evoked accurately and lovingly in "The Boat That Rocked" and it is significant that the mid-Sixties also saw the first period of widespread popularity of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". Both that epic and the 1960's themselves share a common feature: Tolkien's book is a modern invention of a supposedly ancient saga and the 1960's have over the past 40 years been repeatedly mythologised. Both the book and the decade offer a time of legend when heroes and villains bestrode the land engaged in titanic struggles. "The Boat That Rocked" gives us a ragged band of DJ's as heroes and the Government of the day provide the villains dedicated to cast them adrift - literally as it turns out.
The critics were largely unimpressed by "The Boat That Rocked" when it was released in cinemas because it felt to be self-indulgent, overly nostalgic and lacking in a firm narrative structure. ( Just a moment A2 students - are not these postmodern features the critics took issue with? Dog.) These strictures are pretty well justified but the film also has an ensemble of terrific actors, some great music, a production which merits an award for its attention to the fashion and design of the 1960's and - and this is very important - a lot of laughter and warm affection for a time of innocence, hope and optimism.
It would be invidious to single out particular performances among a top-notch cast but I feel Nick Frost deserves huge praise for his character who is wily, shameless, lovable and hilarious, and the incomparable Ralph Brown, almost unrecognisable under enough hair to stuff a medium-sized sofa, as the DJ whom no-one on board seems to recognise despite the fact that he's been working the pre-dawn, dead slot between 3am and 7am for seven months, while everyone else has been asleep!
"The Boat That Rocked" is a warm, funny, affectionate and hugely entertaining movie.
Great 'feel good' movie,
Was a bit sceptical about this movie thinking it would be similar to the other films i.e Notting Hill, Love Actually. But it was great. It took me back to the 1960's and Radio Caroline. Great music and good acting.
Come on, Mr Curtis, you can do much better than this.
Time Out's Movie Review. It helped kill off the film at the box office
‘The Ship That Sank’ would be a more appropriate title for writer-director Richard Curtis’s latest and most disappointing entertainment. It’s a cripplingly self-conscious and self-satisfied tribute to the roistering last days of offshore British mid-’60s pirate radio before the meanies from the ministry pulled the plugs.
It’s also the kind of musical comedy where the actors seem to be having more fun than any audience could ever share. This overlong, poorly paced and slackly directed ship-bound farrago not only wastes its treasury of golden oldies – Hendrix, Kinks, Small Faces etc – but magically contrives to reduce the chaotic, creative spirit of the sexual and cultural revolution to a mere mechanical catalogue of trite and surprisingly sentimental sex-drugs-and-rock ’n’ roll clichés, each fatally underlined by multiple and repetitive reaction shots.
If there are compensations, they come courtesy of a few diverting performances. The movie’s depressingly few incidences of genuine feeling come from Tom Sturridge who is sweet and appealing as the public schoolboy taken under the wing of his godfather, ship’s captain and Radio Rock boss Quentin, played by Bill Nighy as a self-parody in made-to-measure Regency-collared suits. Philip Seymour Hoffman does a turn as the radical, Emperor Rosko-like DJ in rivalry with Rhys Ifans’s self-serving immoralist Gavin.
Elsewhere, pickings are slim: the talented Ralph Brown is wasted – he’s cast as Wee Small Hours Bob, a misjudged amalgam, presumably, of ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris and dysarthric Danny from ‘Withnail & I’ – and the same is doubly true of such comic talents as Chris O’Dowd, Rhys Darby and Nick Frost.
Author: Wally Hammond
Time Out London Issue 2015, Apr 2-8 2009