by Gregory Crofton
OASIS: SUPERSONIC, a new documentary about the British rock band — executive produced by Asif Kapadia (AMY, SENNA) and directed by Mat Whitecross (ROAD TO GUANTANAMO) — does the job it sets out to do in explaining how the band came to be, and how in just three short years it played to 250,000 people over two nights at Knebworth, England, in 1996.
What it doesn’t do is tell its story in a fittingly supersonic fashion. It takes a lot of doing to dull characters as sharp as Liam and Noel, but director Whitecross nearly achieves it. There are funny moments between the brothers, and plenty of road and studio stories — like how effortlessly Liam did the vocals for “Champagne Supernova” between football-watching session — but the director’s delivery isn’t as punchy as such potent material should have allowed.
Subtitles also would have helped the doc play better as it’s difficult to navigate the band members’ Manchester accents. Ultimately though a near sell-out crowd at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre on Tuesday night gave the film a round of applause when the credits rolled. They left for the most part not disappointed while my expectations were somewhat flattened. I was looking for the kind of non-stop archival masterpiece for which Kapadia is known, and for the entire story of Oasis to be told.
However if you’re a true Oasis fan, you’ll still want to see this film because there is lots of band-relevant family history revealed about the Gallagher brothers. “OASIS: SUPERSONIC” is in the midst of its limited one-week theatrical run, so look for it this weekend at your local arthouse theater.