Ewen Bremner wastes no energy in his latest role as notorious Glaswegian music producer Alan McGee. McGee was at the forefront of the UK music industry as the founder of Creation Records, responsible for the careers of iconic bands including (but not limited to) The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Oasis. Fuelled equally by his passion for music and substance abuse, the legend’s rise to rock’n’roll stardom is retold in Creation Stories.
With a script penned by Irvine Welsh, Nick Moran’s biopic is a riotous whirlwind of music and drugs that channels elements of Trainspotting and Filth. It’s a riot to watch, oozing gleeful style from start to finish, and made all the better thanks to an all-star cast of Jason Isaacs, Suki Waterhouse and Rebeca Root, who manage to keep pace with Bremner’s wide-eyed vivacity. Though not every fourth wall-breaking gag lands as well as others, each sly tongue-in-cheek moment contributes to the flick’s bombastic charm.
Covering over two decades’ worth of a lifetime filled with partying, success and drama, there is a lot of ground to cover here, even with the not-too-short runtime of just under two hours. And, to the film’s credit, it blasts through everything, from a strained childhood relationship with his father and short-lived career as a musician to operating a record label on a shoestring budget and a stint in politics. There’s no shortage of content, but the blistering pace means there’s simply no time for anything to stick. What viewers come to know about McGee is learned through quippy soundbites, which makes for a disappointingly shallow connection to such an intriguing character.
At the end, the script does try to connect all the various dots to come to a meaningful conclusion, but by this point it is simply a case of too little far too late. While the chaotic structure may match McGee’s rebellious philosophy, it doesn’t make for a thoughtful cinematic experience. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to watch his life story unfold.
Creation Stories is screened at Glasgow Film Festival on 24th February 2021 and released digitally on demand on 20th March 2021.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.
Watch a teaser clip of Creation Stories here: