Sound of Noise – 4 out of 5
The title for this film sounds like an overtly pretentious but painfully cliché hipster band name that believes they have a unique and original look and sound but end up looking and sounding like all other hipster bands who focus more on which scarf will look best with their fedoras, skinny jeans, ironic beards, Apple products and PBR than worrying which brass section setting on their Casio keyboard fits perfectly with their unimaginative guitar medleys and even less inspired lyrics about how hard it is to be a entitled 30 plus year old. Nope, rather Sound of Noise is a 2010 crime comedy given to us by both the Swedish and the French.
|No fair...I want a percussionist in my backseat at all times.|
The story is basically about a group of rogue criminal musicians who torment their city by breaking into places and making music out of very non-musical items (at one point, oxygen tanks and a shredder—not the Ninja Turtles villain—were used to make something that sound vastly better than the latest Taylor Swift single and with a lot less desperation, false bravado and whining…also this group of musicians don’t date other criminal musicians for the sole purpose of writing music). While these unique criminals are off making more interesting versions of STOMP a tone-deaf cop is hot on their collective tails (or instead of tails their collective…um…I don’t know, fill in a musical instrument equivalent. A Theremin maybe? Listen, I’m a stand-up comedian and a half-ass movie critic; I don’t know music. Shit, I rock out to Europe’s “The Final Countdown” on a daily basis so my musical taste is already in question.)
The premise alone for this movie is something I was quick to get behind because it is truly one of those concepts you have never seen and will never see again in the world of film. They took the concept of the crime thriller and made it a comedy with hints of musical thrown in—the bad parts of musicals; the singing and the dancing, was mercifully removed and we just get some kick ass music. Which is, of course, the film’s strongest aspect.
|At some point Pod People invaded as well.|
The music in this film is much like the film itself: Like nothing you’ve heard before…okay, that might have been a tad grandiose. If you’ve ever seen STOMP or Blue Man Group or listened to Tom Waits' later stuff or Nine Inch Nails, industrial-style music that creates rhythm and song from very non-musical items is actually nothing new. Sound of Noise just takes that formula and uses it for their central focus of the film as the gang makes songs from heavy machinery like cranes and bulldozers, vacuum tubes, medical equipment and even electrical lines. The sounds they make will range from “Hey, I can dance to this shit!” to “Good graces, my ears have ruptured and are bleeding.” Still, the film supplies music that is easier to listen to than Dave Matthews Band.
|Pictured: Better than DMB.|
For being a comedy, I didn’t find the film to be overwhelmingly funny and a lot of the performances were just passable at best—that isn’t to say that they were horrible either but they just weren’t stellar. However, despite these weaknesses, the film’s strengths (mainly the story and the music) really made Sound of Noise stand out even though the film’s title sounds like the name of an all acoustic jam CD you would buy at Starbucks.
|"Um, I think my balding pattern shows that I know more than you when it comes|