Bob Marley ist noch immer ein Gigant der Popkultur. Seine Songs „No Woman, No Cry“, „Is This Love“ und viele weitere gehören auch über 40 Jahre nach seinem Tod zu den meistgespielten Liedern der Welt. Doch Bob Marley ist viel mehr als ein Reggae-Musiker. Zum ersten Mal erzählt ein Kinospielfilm nun seine Geschichte. (Paramount Pictures Germany)

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Englisch Musical biopics are, unfortunately, one of the most tired and hackneyed of film genres, and to engage on any level higher than the most superficial, they need either a very rich story that rises above the established template, or a very talented filmmaker who grasps it with a dynamic and original style. This film has neither. It is another patchwork of life dramas, flowery wisdoms and samples of the performer's most famous songs, dosed with a certain regularity so that the film doesn't bore and fulfils basic audience expectations, but it lacks both a functional narrative that would perhaps justify the existence of flashbacks to the past, as well as some interesting conflict that would elevate the story above a mere regurgitation of information from Wikipedia, laced with numerous genre clichés on top of that. Kingsley Ben-Adir has learned Bob Marley's mannerisms carefully, and he's fun to watch, but he just can't carry the weight of the whole thing. Moreover, his character is classically sleek and stripped of its problematic aspects because the film's producers are Marley's descendants and obviously don't want to create anything but a wholly flattering image of him. Bohemian Rhapsody was accused of similar things, but at least that film oozed incredible creative energy and boasted some superbly shot concert scenes. Surprisingly, those are almost absent here. Additionally, the entire film is directed towards one particular concert, but we're not shown it because the cut to the end credits comes when it's supposed to really get going. The day after the screening, it pretty much evaporated from my mind. ()

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