“Weird Al” Yankovic stands on the precipice of greatness next to a few warm dog buns whilst he has any other eureka moment. At a party filled with the actual Yankovic’s spiritual influences—including Andy Warhol, Gallagher, Elvira, Tiny Tim, Devine, and Pee-Wee Herman—the ascending parody artist is challenged to reveal his skills instant, to come up with some other parody. With an accordion in hand and his bandmates’ hand-farts and suitcase presenting percussion, Daniel Radcliffe’s version of “Weird Al” turns Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” into “Another One Rides the Bus,” lip-syncing Yankovic’s voice with the equal volcanic depth as Eminem rap-combating for his lifestyles in “8 Mile.” It’s considered one of many sarcastic flashes of genius in this biopic, but it does have BBQ attendee Salvador Dalí reacting, ” ‘Weird Al’ will alternate the whole lot we realize approximately art!”
However severe you’re taking that exclamation, it comes from a perfect centrepiece scene for “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,” a pop song phantasmagoria that’s similarly egoless and unique. Co-written by way of director Eric Appel and “Weird Al” Yankovic, “Weird” distils what has kept Yankovic a subversive force on the Billboard charts since the 1980s to create one of the funniest movies of the year.
The plotting of “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is its personal large shaggy dog story, a fever dream by a self-deprecating entertainer searching for a funhouse replicate. Yankovic did come to be a legendary accordion player thanks to a door-to-door salesman; Madonna (played right here with the aid of Evan Rachel Wood, relishing each bubble gum bite in a comically villainous function) did request that Yankovic parody her song “Like a Virgin,” main to the delivery of Yankovic’s “Like a Surgeon”; Yankovic did document songs like “I Love Rocky Road,” “My Bologna,” and Michael Jackson parody “Eat It,” proving that parodies can be commercial in an evolving track business. But the giddy thrill of “Weird” is the rollicking methods it takes to hit these points, even as spoofing the wholesomeness of Yankovic’s photograph. The “Weird Al” no longer drinks extra, takes hallucinogens, or rips off his Hawaiian shirts on the level to bear a six-%. This model hilariously does, which is an act of maintaining humility about who “Weird Al” is.
This movie thrives with absurd opposites; take Yankovic’s loving dad and mom, who are now imagined here because of the bitter concept of his fulfilment. His father (Toby Huss) wants him to tackle a life “at the manufacturing facility” (a funny ongoing funny story) and has pressured Yankovic to emerge as a closeted accordion participant (his mom performed through a smooth Julianne Nicholson bought it for him secretly). It’s an imperfect basis for the comedy: it conjures up sweetness from young Al and a hilariously over-the-pinnacle response, as when the boy’s first parody reasons his father to yell, “What you’re doing is complicated and evil!” But it also hews a bit too close to “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” a previous music biopic comedy that dominated such tropes behind the Tortured Great Musician, which usually begins with elusive figure validation.
But “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” has many personal ideas, breaking from the authentic story with zeal. This fracture takes place right about the time Yankovic is given guacamole laced with LSD with the aid of his real-existence mentor Dr Demento (Rainn Wilson), and during an animated acid journey, writes a tune known as “Eat It,” which the real Yankovic and Will Forte (as smarmy executives) then verify is “one hundred% authentic.” The success turns this “Weird Al” into the maximum famous recording artist of all time, and People deem him the “Sexiest Man Alive.” When Oprah (Quinta Brunson) interviews him, he wears mini platinum statistics around his neck.
A plot line approximately this “Weird Al” looking to then simplest write unique songs is mainly stimulated, as Yankovic has limitless gems that are enormously literate parodies of a band’s entire discography—they don’t play on the radio. In this version, “Weird Al” believes that the simplest original songs will make humans take him seriously as an artist. This film requires retconning of father tune records to make that possible.
The script is complete of such awesome fakeouts and downplays, and rather than losing momentum by using feeling like it is just stretching its “Funny or Die” skit origins, it plots regularly zig-zags, after which it goes faster on a chunk for 10 minutes. “Weird” beats the accusation of being “a function-duration model of a skit” by not looking to play the greater formal narrative recreation that has undone limitless “Saturday Night Live” movies and made that word a modern diss. And its editing, with rhythms stimulated through “Airplane!”, builds to excellent pay-offs (a couple together with splendid references to something known as a “hay boy”). Even its ending is jaw-dropping and snort-out-loud; it’s one of Yankovic’s most healthy-excessive jokes he’s ever made. The final credit had me in tears.
Radcliffe is perfect as Yankovic, beginning with the actor manipulating his creative picture, which has formerly allowed him to be as seriously compelling as a farting corpse (“Swiss Army Man”). He completes what makes this parody of Yankovic’s clean-reduce photo so humorous—the shiny innocence that soon becomes a brash arrogance fueled by his preference to show himself to his mother, father, and the world. It’s fitting whilst Radcliffe’s version of Yankovic is thrown into a complex action scene that explodes out of nowhere, with Radcliffe’s physicality and game nature including the film’s average funny story and pleasure. Radcliffe’s overall performance is vulgar without violating the anchoring credo that permits Yankovic to be healthful whilst letting its visual lyrics reach extremes—no cussing.
Throughout, Radcliffe’s musical performances as “Weird Al” are lip-synced through the real Yankovic, a preference that reminds the viewer of why we’re all right here: a storyteller whose paintings are sincere, very stupid, respectful that the audience will get the funny story, and conveniently unhinged. The darker corners of Yankovic’s style—about macabre delusions (“Good Old Days”), over-the-pinnacle violence (“The Night Santa Went Crazy”), and devastating heartbreak (“You Don’t Love Me Anymore”)—are carried out to hilarious set-portions that frequently move farther than you expect. Fans, new and longtime, who need a correct telling of Yankovic’s tale will have to dig up the “Behind the Music” episode approximately Yankovic (a group of anecdotes about his almost subversive sobriety) or examine the work of Yankovic students like Nathan Rabin and Lily E. Hirsch.
“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” strictly doesn’t include those above-stated pieces of his discography; it frequently only consists of the songs that may be found in the best hits tape that converted this creator decades in the past. But it’s greater spiritually in theme with the epic album closers Yankovic has placed on the top of his more recent albums, like his Frank Zappa homage “Genius in France.” Like how that nine-minute music (also self-deprecating) bounces among diverse time signatures and grooves, even as usually catchy and funny, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”, we could see the extent of craftiness quietly communicates for itself. Yankovic preserves simplest a sure sort of “Weird Al,” but it consists of the values which have made him applicable for so long: that a (top-notch) parody is an act of getting to know, and that bold to be stupid is an unorthodox however fruitful direction toward brilliance.