Posted May 22, 2015 by editor in Film Reviews

Danny Collins Review

dc Al Pacino is getting a bit of screen mojo back with this tale of a burnt out rock star who, er, seems to have lost his mojo.

The titular Danny Collins is estranged from his family, engaged to a girl a third of his age and bored to death of repeating the same of routine on stage for his still adoring, yet aging fans.

But on his birthday his best friend and manager (an underused, but brilliant, Christopher Plummer) gives his a gift that alters the course of his life. A letter addressed to him from John Lennon from the 1970s. Sadly it seems to have taken almost 40 years to land on his door step, but having this encouraging letter makes Collins evaluate things a little and he sets out to try to iron out a few wrongs in his life – mainly focussing on creating a bridge between himself and his son (Bobby Canavle).

What ensues are the ups and downs of that escapade. Can Danny turn over a new leaf, and will it be as easy for him to put into practice as it was for him to decide to do so.

Pacino is on shinning form. The film itself entertains a lot of surface level comedy fluff, but does from time to time dip its toe in altogether more serious drama. But it never fully commits to that road however, instead, like its protagonist, treads ground that is a little safer and within a comfort level. This isn’t necessarily a de-merit for the film. It’s a fun affair to watch Collins make his efforts as valiant as he may think they may be. There is always his next fuck up round the corner reading to pull him back down to earth with a sharp thud.

Jennifer garner seems to be making a career out of supporting “wife” roles (See Timothy Green, Juno) and repeats the role again here providing able support and grabbing a few key moments for herself along the way.

It’s also fun watching Pacino relentlessly flirt with the manager (Annette Benning) of the hotel he decides to stay at.

And it’s the relentless “never give up” attitude that Collins generally adopts that keeps him a sympathetic if foolish figure. Pacino is on fine form, and that in itself is an easy sell.

Steven Hurst