Like a black velvet reproduction of Guernica, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the movie, takes one of the landmark works of art of the twentieth century and renders it shallow, pointless and silly. Included in its list of crimes: entrusting the Beatles’ most innovative work to the likes of the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, Steve Martin and Alice Cooper, among an almost infinite roster of incomprehensible casting choices; and placing the whole mess in the hands of a director who was clearly incapable of telling a coherent story (the magical musical instruments need to be stolen because why? And how exactly does that lead to the charming town of Heartland, U.S.A. being turned into Pottersville?), but never met a cheapjack, circa seventies special effects trope he didn’t love.
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