"Get Him To The Greek is rock and roll personified"
Get Him To The Greek is rock and roll personified. Russell Brand's near genius portrayal of a has been, alcoholic, drug abusing, out of control rock star called Aldous Snow takes the spectator on an uncomfortable yet hilarious journey set over three days from London to LA. Assistant music producer, Aaron Green (Hill) has a light bulb moment at the beginning of the Journey which he thinks will save the record company he works for - Pinnacle, headed by music mogul, Sergio, played by Sean 'P Diddy' Combs. Aaron Green is given instructions by Sergio to do whatever it takes to get the deluded junkie, hard partying rock god to LA for a sell-out performance to mark his 10th anniversary. In true Apatow style it doesn't go according to plan...
Russell Brand as Aldous Snow is a spectacle and animates the entire film. As soon as he opens his mouth in the opening scene with a rendition of flopped hit African Child, it is comic gold. Jonah Hill who plays the no confidence good guy takes a step out of his comfort zone and delivers with great comic timing and Diddy delivers a surprisingly strong performance as Sergio the music executive. It was pleasing to see him actually pull off such a funny role. The natural bias of accepting him as an actor dissolves by the time the first scene is over and you're too busy laughing to care anymore. The supporting roles are great too, and the film is packed with great cameos. On the contrary, there is a huge amount of toilet humor which many won’t get. It's extreme comedy which borders on tragedy and takes the viewer from huge belly laughter to under the breath sniggering and on a few occasions raises a brow. In particular one scene caught me off balance and I am by no means a prude by any stretch but because it’s so funny you almost forget how insane it is and I guess that’s the charm of the film.
The film also has a heart which I wasn’t expecting. Underneath the lewd, vulgar and brilliant wit are occasional moments of human frailty. Below the pompous portrayal of Brand is a cruel manipulative intelligence that keeps the film feeling fresh even though the plot isn’t too clever and we have seen rock and roll type films done to death. It still carefully manages to stay within the lines, cleverly molding together a rock and roll film and an Apatow comedy.
It’s exactly the sort of comedy you would expect from a Russell Brand film and I can see Brand fans going again and again, racking up the box office figures, but for the public, this is not a film for the faint hearted. It should come as no surprise that Judd Apatow's fingerprints are all over it given the comic and often crass male bonding throughout. Its focus on unusual awkward moments and general gross out humour where even vomit makes a starring role but if you liked films like 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and other Apatow films you will find Greek hilarious. Like every Apatow, it runs about 20 minutes too long for the story to be told. However Brand and Hill make an engaging duo and if you don't expect too much you WILL be laughing on the edge of your seat, even if it’s not quite PC. It’s a moment of madness out of the reality of life. Yet it keeps a soul. It’s a must see, 'to do list' film but not quite "The Hangover" film of 2010.