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The Leading Man Review

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Bon Jovi is the ambiguous Robin Grange, a young, American movie star arriving in London to headline Felix Webb's (Lambert Wilson) new play and satiate his theatrical muse. There's further drama in the wings though, for Webb is set to go AWOL from wife and three kids over Hilary (Newton), a spirited young performer recently cast opposite Grange.

★★★★★

Anyone who paid attention to issue 98's rap star vs rockers chart will realise that purveyors of the screaming, 'axe'-based popular music entertainment fare considerably worse on celluloid than their verbose, 'gangsta' counterparts. So, after a reasonable debut (if you don't count Young Guns II theme tune cameo) as Moonlight And Valentino's scruffily sexy house painter, this starring role in Sirens' director Duigan's offbeat drama-thriller provides the first real pointer as to Bon Jovi's talents, or lack thereof.

And the verdict is, well, okay. Toiling through years of thespian tuition, and apparently holding off for The Right Part, he has turned up the charming but ambiguous Robin Grange, a young, American movie star arriving in London to headline Felix Webb's (Lambert Wilson) new play and satiate his theatrical muse. There's further drama in the wings though, for Webb is set to go AWOL from wife and three kids over Hilary (Newton), a spirited young performer recently cast opposite Grange.

The film works best in an effectively taut and unpredictable finale. The only doubt is whether you'll still be interested, with Duigan's uneven and often meandering pace. Bon Jovi is fine, though not outstanding, Newton and Galiena acquit themselves well, and there's decent support from Barry Humphries as the play's director, but - like the characters' imminent theatre - there's a pervading sense of unreality which makes full connection with the movie rather difficult.

Like the characters' imminent theatre - there's a pervading sense of unreality which makes full connection with the movie rather difficult.