Trailer For James Brown Biopic ‘Get On Up’ Looks Entertaining, But Heavy-Handed

Chadwick Boseman has gone from sports legend to music legend. Get On Up 's first trailer was released today and shows the actor in the lead role as James Brown. Boseman recently played Jackie Robinson in 42 and now he's starring in another biopic this time for The Godfather of Soul. Judging by the trailer, the film looks at Brown's entire life rather than just a select period. Get On Up gives Brown the classic biopic treatment in every way — multiple genres, drama, comedy, and music, all rolled into one full portrait that will likely be totally enjoyable while admittedly corny.

Even in just the trailer we see how this will play out. There's a child James Brown receiving an inspirational, and highly foreshadowing, talk from the aunt who took care of him after his mother's abandonment. There's a young James Brown during his time in prison. There's James Brown deciding to really go for the music career he wants. There's James Brown dancing on stage with his sweaty pompadour. We see a ton of fun and dancing and jokes. We see that suddenly turn into pure drama when his past begins to haunt him. There's angry James Brown, happy James Brown, the James Brown that wears this badass fur coat and hat ensemble.

Get On Up looks undeniably entertaining, but is it going to be too unoriginal, too familiar in a negative way to really make an impact on viewers? If we want to use Boseman's roles as a point of comparison, this trailer looks much more promising than 42. The Robinson film received mixed reviews and while it has a 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, several positive reviewers made points similar to Richard Roeper's statement that the film was "competent but mostly unexceptional." Get On Up could turn out similarly, but perhaps it has an excitement to it that other biopics sometimes lack.

The film costars Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, who are teaming back up with director Tate Taylor (The Help), as well as Dan Ackroyd, Tika Sumpter, and Craig Robinson. Get On Up will premiere Aug. 1.

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