stoned

Showing at Varsity, Fri., March 31–Thurs., April 6. Not rated. 103 minutes.

Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones reduced himself to a stoned, silly asshole, dead at age 27 in 1969, but not even his corpse stank as much as this sleazy piece of bio-exploitation. Director Stephen Woolley was a producer of the fun faux Beatles flick Backbeat, but this travesty is no fun whatsoever. It's sort of like an incredibly stupid rip-off of Straw Dogs: Its thesis is that Jones did not, as everybody thinks, get drugged up and drown in his pool on the posh estate that used to belong to A.A. Milne, shortly after Mick and Keith sacked him for chronic absenteeism. No, he creepily provoked his prole workman Frank Thorogood (Paddy Considine) into drowning him, which the film claims Thorogood confessed on his deathbed.

None of this is remotely plausible, even as crackpot conspiracy theories go. In clichéd, rhythmically impaired collages set to clichéd golden-oldie acid-rock ditties, white-boy blues, and no Stones tunes (Mick and Keith know better than to grant licenses to such shit), Brian (Leo Gregory, chief lout in Green Street Hooligans) smirks and acts like a jerk. He beds groupies despite dating steady hottie Anita Pallenberg (Monet Mazur), guzzles whiskey, pops pills, and indulges whims, like hauling his amps into the drained swimming pool to savor the echo. Fatally, he uses women to sexually taunt Thorogood; forces him to build, tear down, and rebuild brick walls; makes him do pushups while staring up a bird's skirt; and generally, humiliatingly messes with his horny head.

Flashbacks to Jones' glory days with the Stones capture no glory. Luke de Woolfson and Ben Whishaw are the wimpiest excuses for Mick and Keith who could possibly be imagined. Except for a prominent procession of impressive breasts and lovely faces (with rather more focus on the former), there is not a single image worth seeing in this film, nor a lively sound or a sign of human thought. If the real Brian Jones saw it, he'd drown himself again.

 
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