INXS: Never Tear Us Apart - Part 1

Here's a review of the first part of the INXS movie, Never Tear Us Apart.

"I look like Tim not Mike.
Who's casting this thing?"
This month, the Australian made for TV movie, Never Tear Us Apart premiered to mixed reviews but gained the commercial appeal they were going for. As a die hard fan, I can say I'm deeply disappointed in the way this two part series is going so far. 

Ask any one of my friends and they'll tell you I'm the biggest INXS fan they've ever met. Since their 1982 tour supporting Men at Work, I followed them religiously. Even through the loss of Michael Hutchence, these boys persevered and tried to recreate the creative synergy they had lost. Disappointingly but not surprisingly, the loss of Hutchence was a blow that they could never move beyond. No replacement singer could ever match his energy or vocal talent.

At the core of the film lies a massive problem. Luke Arnold looks NOTHING like Hutchence. This immediately takes the viewer out of the experience. In his defense, he has the stage mannerisms down and holds his own in the lip syncing department, but he doesn't sound like Michael, he doesn't bare any physical resemblance to Michael, and most of all he's not that great of a dramatic actor. 

Hutchence was a pop icon of the eighties. His stage persona and voice lifted INXS beyond the dregs of being just another Aussie pop rock export. Sadly, the person playing him just doesn't do him justice. On the other hand, Andrew Ryan and Alex Williams bear striking physical and facial similarities to their counterparts, Andrew Farriss and Kirk Pengilly. Other than that, this project is a total casting nightmare that makes the project feel sloppy and rushed. 

"2 out of 6 ain't bad!"
Whoever scripted this mess didn't take a look at the true history of the band and screws up the continuity of when songs were released and when certain things happened. That is slightly forgivable given the context of the television medium. However, for a fan like myself, this (once again) took me right out of the picture and had me scratching my head. A little more care and historic handling could have made this a much better feature. 

Based on what I've seen so far, I'm going to give this one a pass while I hope for better things from part two. I'm fairly certain they'll handle the death of Hutchence with respect and dignity instead of making this another way to fuel the gossip surrounding his death. I just hope they did the right thing.

Related article: Review of Never Tear Us Apart Part Two

-Review by Chris George