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Don't let the Smiths referencing title fool you, this film has nothing of musical interest whatsoever. As the deliberately obtuse plot meanders slowly and pointlessly towards its unsatisfactory conclusion, we are left having to endure the company of a group of characters so mind-numbingly underdeveloped that we really couldn't care less if they were murdered by dwarfs. The sparse script, which presumably feels its lack of dialogue will create an unsettling rather than tedious atmosphere, is played out woodenly by a group of familiar names and vaguely familiar faces including Ray Winstone, Andy Serkis and Sean Pertwee, all giving performances they've probably forgotten they even did, although there is an inexplicable cameo from John Peel (playing, it would seem, some kind of low rent John Peel), getting about one line but hanging around in the background a lot. The central character, the band's keyboard player, writes dire piano ballads (at one point he plays a Barry Manilow song to impress a girl. This is supposed to show how dedicated he is to her that he's willing to stoop to music that awful to impress, but what it really does is shine a light on his own influences). His band, understandably, want to play something more upbeat, although their indie rock version of the song is no classic. Keyboard man spends much of the film sulking and pouting about how his band don't want to play any of his rubbish songs and that their material is "too commercial". Are we supposed to like this pretentious, pompous idiot? In the end, however, any movie about music will live and die by its music, and here "Five Seconds to Spare" makes the bold and novel decision to virtually dispense with it entirely. Whoever wrote the score had the easiest job in the world because this movie is virtually soundtrack free, never a good thing normally but in a music film it completely ruins your opinions of the filmmakers' tastes. There aren't even much more references to great music outside of the title. I don't know if they couldn't afford to pay for these songs but they obviously didn't spend the money on a decent script.
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