A nobody becomes the next Beatles.
Imagine the Beatles never happened, said Peter Bradshaw in TheGuardian.com. That’s essentially the entire premise of Danny Boyle’s “goofy, wacky, exasperatingly enjoyable” new fantasy-comedy. Himesh Patel plays a failed singer-songwriter who wakes up after a mysterious global blackout and realizes he’s the only person who remembers the Fab Four. Whenever he performs a Beatles hit, his audience is hearing it for the first time, and though the idea feels hokey, imagining that feeling “does carry a charge.” As Patel’s Jack Malik climbs quickly to superstardom—fighting guilt all the way—“there are lots of laughs and goose-bump moments.” Far from enough, though, said Blake Goble in ConsequenceOfSound.net. Only the humorous moments really work, and they’re rare. Otherwise, this lazy movie is “a Beatles commercial, plain and simple”—a reminder to viewers that they’d better purchase and download the band’s oeuvre because who knows if streaming is forever? Though the script’s playful love story and Kate McKinnon’s turn as a ruthless agent help, don’t expect miracles, said Kevin Fallon in TheDailyBeast.com. “In the end, the film is a bit like going to see a very good Beatles cover band. It pales in comparison to the magic of the real thing, but, by nature, it’s going to be a lot of fun anyway.” ■