Jersey Boys

Rated 2.0

Director Clint Eastwood continues his creative slump with this drab adaptation of the Broadway musical which further proves something that Eastwood established 45 years ago with his appearance in Paint Your Wagon: Dirty Harry has no business being around a movie musical! The film tells the story of Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young, who performed the role on Broadway) and The Four Seasons, and how they went from being small time hoods in New Jersey to big time rock stars. Much of the focus of the film falls on Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) an early leader of the band and majorly bad influence on Frankie. Over the course of time, DeVito gets himself deep into debt, to the point that he has to be bailed out by a friend in the mob, represented here as Gyp DeCarlo and played by Christopher Walken in a thankless role. As they did in the musical, each member of the Four Seasons breaks the fourth wall to address the audience, like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas. It's a gimmick that feels forced the way Eastwood stages it. Every time somebody faced the camera and started gabbing in this movie, I found myself getting annoyed. Young gives it a good go belting out the hits with something akin to Valli's signature falsetto, and it's admirable that Eastwood and his performers opted to have the music performed live on set rather than lip-synching. I don't know if it was the theater I was in, but something happened in the final mix that flattens the overall musical presentation. The songs, although competently performed, lack a certain spark. They just feel like pale copies of the originals.