Get Him to the Greek (TheByteScene Review)

Rating: 2 Russell Brands out of 4

In case anyone’s wondering, I absolutely want to and almost definitely will review moves that are more than 2 years old; take Get Him to the Greek as an example. The film is a comedy that explores the finer points of a rock star’s lifestyle, taking care to exhibit the hardships that one must go through to survive in the business. To anyone that’s seen the film, however, they’ll know exactly why that description of the premise couldn’t be further from the truth (while remaining absolutely honest). Starring Jonah Hill as a chubby (but lovable) talent scout just trying to earn a buck, Russell Brand as Russell Brand (or maybe he’s a washed up rock star who also doubles as a drunk named Aldous Snow?), and P. Diddy (Diddy? Puffy? Puff Daddy? Puddy? Honestly, I don’t even know anymore) as a money hungry record exec (you can actually feel the desperation in his performance; the glory, the money, the respect, the desire for the aforementioned. It’s all there and done extremely well) the movie attempts to portray the life of Russell Brand (once again, playing Russell Brand), only this time he’s already gone through rehab and everything’s alright, until his ex-wife (or lover) decides to berate him on live television for releasing a terrible album.

Thus begins the plot of Get Him to the Greek; Jonah Hill (playing Jonah Hill, or maybe a low level talent scout named Aaron Green?) suggests to his boss (D. Piddy) that Russell Brand play an anniversary concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles to generate enough revenue so the record company doesn’t have to file for bankruptcy (or some corporate terror; I tried to figure it out but frankly, nothing short of making up for a deal with the devil would explain the lengths P. Dippy’s character goes to make money). In the process of all of this money generating, Russell Brand’s character will also be provided with an outlet to revitalize his career (because, and this I did understand, he released an absolutely horrendous album, titled African Child, that’s quite possibly the worst thing to happen to South Africa since Apartheid; or so the film says) due to a failed album and severe emotional damage thanks to a nasty break up with the mother of his child.

Suffice it to say, I didn’t like this movie, but the biggest problem I had with it (apart from the fact that the plot is decent and the acting is fine) is the humour. The humour is gratuitous, it is nasty, it is mean spirited, filled with toilet and butt jokes, and the movie attempts absolutely anything to get a laugh; annoyingly enough, however, it works, very well. The movie is incredibly funny and this is what troubles me about it: despite whatever I might be able to say and despite the fact that it’s just another Russell Brand comedy, the film’s incredibly funny and I have to recommend it to people who want to laugh, smile, and have a genuinely good time. To everyone else, however, well, expect it to suffer thanks to (an issue I’m trying to coin) RBS: Russell Brand Syndrome.

In case anyone isn’t aware, up until a few years ago, Russell Brand was nothing more than a high profile drug addict who spent his days in pubs and bars getting smashed and his night in various low profile women. That really is all there was to him (his odd celebrity notwithstanding), and he soon checked himself into rehab (like most washed up celebrities do) and he worked out the majority of his many issues. Which is absolutely fantastic to know because the fact that he was able to do so really helped his career as a stand up comic and presumably his career everywhere else. However, while it’s perfect to pepper a stand up comedy routine with details about how his life was so bad then and how it’s so good now, it doesn’t make a good movie; comedy or otherwise. This is Russell Brand Syndrome; his characters are always alcoholic womanizers that exhibit the worst parts of the human condition and despite whatever hardship they may endure, by the end of the film they will emerge from a 6 month cocoon of rehabilitation where they have taken back their lives (much like Russell Brand himself) and are now in control of their futures (instead of letting their addictions be their driving force).

Therefore, regardless of the problems that show up in his movies (this one, for example, had a nasty ex-wife who cheated on him, a mindless mother only there for his money, a mindless father who may or may not be trying to cash in on him, a career that’s been all but destroyed due to his previous lifestyle and his current one [African Child was created because Russell Brand wasn’t high out of his mind writing true rock ballads about subjects such as the “Clap”], and a long withstanding love for the aforementioned ex-wife) everything will be perfectly alright for Russell Brand in the end because he’ll just enter rehab and fix himself up (because that’s what the real Russell Brand did).

There is no catharsis, there is no point in the film where the character is forced to become something more, there isn’t even a point in the film where the characters of Russell Brand learns anything, because everything that makes him a better person is done in the six month interim that isn’t shown on screen. Russell Brand gets better because he’s Russell Brand and he can, so he does, leaving the audience extremely weary from a movie that truly pushes them to their limits (on almost every level; it’s mentally exhausting watching Russell Brand be who he is and I’m amazed anyone can sit through his comedy shows without asking him to stop so they can leave and take a quick intermission to recover from the absolute and utter mental and emotional barrage they had to endure).

Needless to say, this film, could have been so much more; it didn’t need to be a mindless comedy about Russell Brand. It could’ve been a genuinely heartfelt comedy about a rock star trying to get back his glory days by fixing himself up (on screen). It could’ve even been a drama (again, about the same rock star) where Jonah Hill is trying his best to bring back his idol to a lost former glory. Speaking of Jonah Hill, this movie takes place in the same universe as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the most that anyone gets of a crossover is a quick joke about the women Aldous Snow has bedded. Don’t even get me started on how the film could be trying to reimagine the traditional tragedy without a shown catharsis to heal the audience because sadly, it’s not and it never will be.

In fact, I can safely say that I doubt Russell Brand will ever attempt to throw that much insight into any of his films because, when it all comes down to it, his films, especially Get Him to the Greek, are all absolutely hilarious movies that don’t try to be anything more or less than what they are: comedies starring Russell Brand. Therefore, I will end this review by stating this: Get Him to the Greek is a funny movie and an absolutely great comedy but it stars Russell Brand. The jokes are vulgar and hilarious, but it stars Russell Brand. The plot is actually quite interesting and (for the first time in a long time) believable, but it stars Russell Brand. Did I mention that the film stars Russell Brand? Because it most certainly does.

As always, this has been your Admin; comment, subscribe, and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!

-EK

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