It's taken at a pace to slowly introduce us to new characters, build up a picture of them, and see how their life pans out. Which is okay, I guess. It just doesn't seem to make a good film out of it. Don't get me wrong, the era in which it's set in is brilliant, the sets are limited but accurately done, and the soundtrack is just pure pleasure. Even if you're not going to watch this film, definitely give the songs a listen to; They're faultless.
Adrien Brody (who also stars in King Kong and The Pianist) always seems to bring a certain element of passion to his roles. He doesn't necessarily go for parts which will make him a lot of money, he plays characters which he is truly interested in, and this is why he is so successful. He really brings this film together along with Jeffrey Wright who plays Muddy Walters in the movie. They make a great pair and ultimately are enjoyable to watch.
Beyonce plays a feisty Etta James, and honestly, this is the best performance she's given. Sometimes she can be a bit hit and miss with her acting, but she really puts her all into this and it shows. Being the executive producer of the film, you would expect her to as well. And being the only female in the movie that isn't a pushover is quite liberating.
It gets exciting and dramatic in the final scenes of the movie, leaving you with a sense of satisfaction once its over. That's only if you get to this point first though. It remains quite samey throughout, just with different singers, girls and clubs. You could lose focus at some points, but once Beyonce kicks some of her attitude into it, it becomes more interesting to watch.
Not the best film by any means, but certainly entertaining enough. You can have a good singalong, and just enjoy the true music being provided to you. It's not a musical, it's a film based around rock and roll. You haven't got 100 extras running into the scene knowing all the dance moves to a certain song. You've just got the singer, the band and the set. That's rock and roll, baby.