Release: 9th November 2015
Format: BR / DVD / DGTL
BRAND: A Second Coming” follows comedian/author Russell Brand s evolution from addict & Hollywood star to unexpected political disruptor & newfound hero to the underserved. Brand is criticized for egomaniacal self-interest as he calls for revolution but stays the course with an irreverent courage that inspires a new generation of activists.
If you haven’t read the plethora of autobiographies and think pieces that Russell Brand has written is his short time as global celeb; then A Second Coming might be a rather engaging experience. For those on the other side of the fence, however, Ondi Timoner’s documentary will feel really rather familiar.
A Second Coming thinks it is an exposé of Brand’s celebrity, and troubled life. But the truth is that Essex folk have a penchant for airing their dirty laundry in public. Domestic pantomime is commonplace for people like us. So when Timoner catches an awkward exchange between Brand and his father, or captures sound bites of Brand’s own friend calling him a megalomaniac; this really is by the by. Watching Brand’s rise from meek child to drug addict to comedian to born again spirit child to wannabe revolutionist is like a biopic in its own right; even if the journey’s document feels somewhat contrived.
There is a scene when Stephen Merchant compares Brand to David Shayler, and although he does so in jest, it’s a fair observation. Brand has a wild hysteria about him that Timoner seems keen to capture, yet never fully explores. That being said, Brand makes more sense the longer you watch him. His politics are muddled, and even he admits that there is no concrete ideology. But A Second Coming helps give context to his mile-a-minute ramblings; and is rather admirable.
Film Grade: C
Thankfully, the DVD carries the same special features as the Blu-Ray. But three Deleted Scenes add very little merit to the product. Although an anecdote about the first time Brand was arrested is very, VERY Essex.
Special Features Grade: D
Hardly in the league of Nick Broomfield, but far from the droll sensualism of Michael Moore. Timoner fails to make the most of her subject; even when all she really had to do was point a camera and press record.