Thomson has form with taking great music and turning into something abysmal – a couple of years back it was molesting The Pixies. Now it’s William Shatner giving his own unique take on Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The thing is though, it’s such a silly song in the first place I don’t see the harm.
Yet, again, it’s instructive that something so unusual can be re-engineered to sell you package holidays. As I’ve noted before, this sort of curation is a very particular skill and when it works – which I think it does here – the parts become greater than the whole. Though it is called ‘A film about a smile’ – which makes it automatically awful.
Shatner remains someone who’s passed into almost mythical status these days, via Star Trek, TJ Hooker, Boston Legal and his own willingness to send himself up. I interviewed Craig Charles a few years ago and we talked a little about Shatner, who he’d met while filming Space Cadets. He told me conspiratorially that Shatner – at the age of 68 – had been caught by the producers shagging his wife in the studio toilets. Charles thought it was hilarious.
It strikes me that whether you think he’s a legend, a pillock or has-been, the world will be poorer without him.
ETA: The Shat also features in this Visit California advert currently showing
Also ETA: This legendary video is perhaps the best example of Shatner’s unique acting – and singing – styles.