Mention the word “Britpop” to anybody even remotely well-versed in ‘90s music, and they’re guaranteed to immediately bring up Oasis or Blur, though the former band is arguably the real king of the woefully short-lived genre, what with a string of endlessly replayable hits such as “Live Forever”, “Supersonic” (the song giving this film its name), “Wonderwall”, “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, “Some Might Say”, and “Champagne Supernova” under their belt and all– and those are just the most instantly recognizable ones. So obviously, a documentary had to be made about them sometime, and obviously, I absolutely had to watch the first one that came out: Oasis: Supersonic (what did you expect from somebody who has a massive poster of the band proudly hanging in their very own room?). My thoughts on it? Well… I’m gonna have to break from my traditional review format to make a list of all the things about the film that really surprised me:
1. First and foremost, while it certainly does a very good job in that regard, the filmonly covers the origins of the band and whenthey were churning out the aforementioned smashes on the classic albums Definitely Maybe and (What’s the Story) Morning Glory. Yes, I know thatthat was obviously their most popularperiod and all, but a look into their spottier, slightly less well-received later years in the music business would probably have been just as interesting, especially since that’s when they were really struggling with drugs and all. Oh, and that leads me to my next topic…
2. The members’ various personal problems, particularly with crystal meth use, is a topic here, but doesn’t really get discussedas much as it should, especially considering how serious some of that stuff is. I mean, what’s this about one of them randomly threatening to break his father’s legs while on an otherwise casual phone conversation with him? Why is the film notdigging into that particular eventinstead of going to something else after a relatively short time of looking at it? Oh well, I guess.
3. The f-words. So. Many. F-words. Like, seriously, these guys punctuate their conversations with the f-bomb the wayPlanes, Trains and Automobiles used the word when Steve Martin’s character ranted at the flight attendant about his missing rental car, which was an especially big shock for me since Oasis’s actual music is mostly profanity-free. In fact, I was extremely surprised to find that–and I don’t care how much of a ridiculous exaggeration this may seem like (which it most definitely is not), but I’m going to say it anyway–Wikipedia’s list of films that use that particular obscenity the most didn’t include this one, though maybe that’s just because the good people who mainly edit that particular page haven’t noticed it yet. (This isn’t a criticism of the documentary, but rather an objective observation of it and the band it examines. As such, it does not affect my rating for the former at all, as it shouldn’t.)
4. How much of an utter blastSupersonicis for fans like me even with those little nitpicks, though forthose who don’t know who the heck Oasis is, the film also serves as a great introduction to them. All the classic tunes–yes, including all the ones mentioned at the very beginning of this review–are here in their full, proudly British glory, and the extensivearchival footage of them heavily sprinkled throughout even helped me, a near-diehard fan, gain a better picture of these musical lads. Yes, itdoesn’t get as personal or detailed about this highly acclaimed band as I might have liked, but otherwise, Supersonic is a fun, very enjoyable rock documentary that ranks among the best I have ever seen. Maybe that’s just because I haven’t seen too terribly many of them, but still.
Note: You know how I said Oasis: Supersonic is the first documentary about the band that was released? Yeah, well, that’s because a new one, Liam Gallagher: As It Was, came out this very year, which I plan to watch ASAP. A review of it will come immediately afterwards, of course, so keep your eyes peeled!