tick, tick...BOOM!

tick, tick...BOOM! ★★★★

Tick, tick...BOOM! is a musical. And to those that are familiar with me will know that I'm not particularly a fan of musicals. With that being said, this was really great and I was quite shocked by how much I ended up enjoying this. Now it should be stated that I hardly knew anything about Johnathan Larson or the original stage play prior to this movie. I'd heard of Rent before, but knew nothing about it, so this was my first semi-introduction to Jonathan Larson.

Andrew Garfield is easily the best part of the movie for me. He's a fantastic actor, but most people just know him as the worst live-action Spider-Man. It's honestly a shame that general audiences still mostly associate him with those movies, because he's genuinely great in this. He manages to portray this complicated character in an almost heighted reality type way. The movie is written and presented through the lens of this character, who's always thinking about performing and working to a fault. The way the movie contrasts his actual moments with this "stage-play" inner monologue was kind of genius. There's a clear contrast in the performance when it comes to him in his actual life, compared to scenes in his head and I thought Andrew Garfield was able to pull that off really well. I also had no idea he was able to sing, he has a surprisingly great voice and, even though this movie is filled with him singing, I kind of just wanted more. Which is more of a compliment than a complaint to me.

I found that a lot of the side characters were underdeveloped. There's a good amount of names of people in the musical theater industry that are thrown about, but you never really get a grasp of who they are. There's a few people in the main "friend group" that I felt could have been a bit more fleshed out. I know that they aren't really vital to the story or anything, but there are more emotional moments of the movie dedicated towards certain characters. I was unsure on how to act during these moments because at that point in the movie those characters might have had a scene or two. Supposedly from what I quickly read about this movie, certain actors and actresses left the project midway through due to COVID. Their scenes were replaced with different characters in those spots instead, which could explain a lot if that's true. Luckily all of the performances for these characters, were good, so it's not THAT big of a deal.

The biggest issue I had with this movie are the visuals. There's some good shots here and there, but most of the movie I found looked fairly ugly. Sometimes it's intentionally like this, to convey certain moods, but I found in other moments that it didn't seem intentional. There's a lot of greenscreen usage that I found could have been executed better. One moment that sticks out in my head as looking particularly mediocre is the "Sunday" musical number. There's a part where the diner wall is taken down and you can clearly tell that whatever is behind Andrew Garfield, is not real. The colors in this scene are way too saturated as well and there's tons of unnecessary lens flares. I don't know what's with this movie and lens flares, but there's way too many of them. I get that it's meant to be in a visual representation of how he's seeing his life in a "stage play", but visually it doesn't look good and took me out most of the time when I started to notice it more frequently.

Overall I had a lot of fun. I'm glad I decided to watch this, even if I was unsure of watching a musical in the first place. I'm curious to see what else Lin-Manuel Miranda has in store for his career, even if this really was just an adaptation of something that already existed. I can't say I understand the dislike that a lot of people have towards this movie and Lin-Manuel Miranda, but please feel free to fill me in. If you have a chance, it's on Netflix and will probably remain there until we're all dead and gone! Check it out!

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