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CREATION STORIES: 3 STARS. “a constant stream of platitudes.”

Near the end of “Creation Stories,” the story of record industry giant Alan McGee now on VOD, a young writer promises one day to write a story that matches his ego. “That’s a very noble ambition,” he snaps back. I’m not sure if she ever wrote the story, but director Nick Moran and screenwriters Dean Cavanagh and Irvine Welsh certainly have. “Modesty gets you nowhere,” McGee says.

Ewen Bremner, best known as Spud from “Trainspotting”, plays McGee, a wannabe punk musician who put down his guitar and picked up bands like Jesus and the Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Oasis for his UK indie label Creation Records. Told in the tried-and-true biopic form of a celebrity interview, the movie is a series of flashback vignettes of McGee that illustrate his answers. The format is old hat but allows Moran to zip through the story at a break neck speed.

The pace captures the spirit and drug fuelled joie d vivre of the times, but feels disjointed. It’s a scattershot movie that packs twenty pounds of story into a ten-pound bag. According to the movie, like a Scottish Zelig, McGee is here, there and everywhere but always in the right place at the right time. He’s front and centre in every scene, it’s his life story after all, but as we careen through McGee’s chaotic life, the side characters get lost. Particularly the musicians who made Creation so successful.

It often feels like a story, as the young writer played by Suki Waterhouse promised, that plays up to McGee’s ego courtesy of a constant stream of platitudes.

Luckily at the centre of it all is Bremner. His charismatic performance is the glue that prevents the disparate parts of the story from blowing a part. His likability holds our interest even as the story goes the way of so many other celebrity biographies—the dreaded time in rehab and/or involvement with politics. The rip-roaring stride of the film’s first half slows as “Creation Stories” searches for some elusive depth. Even then, Bremner is compelling, even if the skin-deep portrait of the music executive becomes less so as the movie nears the end credits.

“Creation Stories” is chirpily nostalgic for the heady days when Creation Records struck gold with records that resonated with millions of people. What it isn’t sentimental for is the actual music, McGee’s true legacy.



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