One Direction has brought their world domination to the big screen in their new documentary/concert film "One Direction: This Is Us," directed by "Super Size Me" creator Morgan Spurlock. With yesterday's big premiere in London — just days before the group's planned appearance at Sunday's VMAs — a handful of overseas critics got an early look at "This Is Us" and share their thoughts. Check out a sampling of what they had to say about the movie in our early review round-up below.
The Story So Far
One Direction is, needless to say, an extraordinarily successful English/Irish quintet assembled from the outcasts of a 2010 "X Factor" audition. "X Factor" overlord Simon Cowell noticed the fivesome among the aspirants, and wondered if perhaps assembling an entire group of attractive teenage male singers might prove a winning business model. It was a gamble, to be sure, but once tethered together, One Direction ended up finishing in third place and immediately signed to Cowell's Syco Records label, where they quickly evolved into a worldwide sensation, becoming the first British act to top the U.S. album charts with a debut album. — Andrew Barker, Variety
No Inside Dirt?
What's the opposite of warts-n-all? 'No warts' doesn't even begin to describe Morgan Spurlock's fly-on-the-wall film about One Direction. No warts, no acne -- there's not even a pimple on the butt of this on-tour portrait of the reality-bred boy popsters. The director is Morgan Spurlock -- the man who took on McDonald's in "Super Size Me." But you won't find an anti-corporate message here. This is relentlessly on-message, crammed full of cheeky shirtless moments for fans. — Time Out London
There are pre-gig hijinks and post-gig heart-to-hearts, all of which the boys conduct in an at least partial state of undress. Even a visit to the recording studio is conducted sans trousers. Unusually, Cowell has missed a trick here: imagine the scope for product placement if he'd used the film to launch a range of One Direction-themed underpants. Virtually the only part of the film in which the boys aren't wandering around in their underwear is a brief interlude in which Louis Tomlinson visits his great-grandmother. — Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
Doin' It For Mum
But it's also tough being at the top and the band admit it's hard being away from their friends and family. The weepy moments come courtesy of the 1D mums. Harry's mum Anne Cox and Liam's mum Karen get all weepy when talking about missing their boys. But Karen has a crafty plan and keeps a cardboard cut-out of Liam in his bed much to the surprise of the singer when he makes a rare trip home. And Zayn's mum Tricia sobs down the phone after she explores her family's brand spanking new pad courtesy of her superstar son.
With slick concert footage, no mention of girlfriends or groupies and the group PG confessions round a camp fire there is plenty to keep the fans happy. — Natalie Edwards, Mirror