Boybands don’t make waves, which explains the PG certificate.
Those who remember the wild years will suspect a pop doc that avoids any mention of cocaine, Jack Daniels, trashed hotel rooms or groupies.
Is this a promo exercise, arranged and edited by Simon Cowell’s PR company?
One Direction’s success is inexplicable in the way that The Spice Girls was, only more so. A manufactured band, made up of X Factor rejects and put together by Cowell, has become the biggest thing since sliced Beatles.
This Is Us is a fan’s mum’s safety net. These boys are friendly, polite and unspoilt. They just want to have fun, goofing about in one country after another, kicking a football across a gigantic stage, just “normal guys, terrible dancers”.
The film is a record of their world tour. Japan goes crazy. Mexico tops it. They get trapped in a store in Amsterdam. Crowds of girls block the streets wherever they go.
And all they can say is “This is big; this is mad,” with an air of incredulity and innocent wonderment.
On stage, they make no attempt to look cool, or choreograph sexy dance moves.
Their songs – written by other people – have simple, bouncy rhythms and seamless teenage melodies that make Abba sound progressive. You can’t knock them. Be amazed!
“We’re the five luckiest dudes!”
You’ve had blood on the tracks.
You’ve survived Altamont. You’ve mourned Janis and Jimi. You’ve mocked The Carpenters.
Now it’s payback time. Nice is the price.