Let’s get Weird

Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) and Weird Al (Daniel Radcliffe) in Weird:The Al Yankovich Story


For the Keizertimes

The first time I ever truly felt old was the day I realized that I didn’t recognize any of the songs Weird Al Yankovic was parodying on his last album, 2014’s Mandatory Fun

Taking something serious and replacing it with something silly while treating it with the same amount of reverence is a staple of his work, and the master of parody has been doing it ever since I actually knew what was popular in the music scene (before I was born, really). 

With every artist getting a biopic film these days, it was only natural that the polka king would get his own and that it would follow this same formula. 

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is pure silly fun; although, it does occasionally have the drawn out feeling of a good joke that doesn’t quite know when to end.   

Continuing his trend of choosing odd and unexpected roles in his fascinating post-wizarding career, Daniel Radcliffe dons the iconic curly hair, mustache and glasses of the man himself and knocks it out of the park. The only time I was reminded that I was not watching actual Al was when the man himself showed up in a hilariously meta way and when the actual singing commenced, as it was dubbed over and clashed rather noticeably with Radcliffe’s speaking voice. 

But this later observation is no fault of Radcliffe, who does a fantastic job and who, oddly enough, also often plays the straight man in a world just as weird if not weirder than Al is himself. 

Radcliffe is surrounded by some equally funny and talented people, such as Rainn Wilson as Dr. Demento anad Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna, but I have to ask… if everyone is as weird as Al, isn’t nobody weird?   

Deep questions like this aside, Weird is an undeniably good time for fans of Al and fans of parody in general, from its lurid teenage polka parties to its Rambo-esque action scenes in Pablo Escobar’s jungle complex (if you’re not prepared to get that silly and off-the-wall, you might want to stay away). 

As a film based on an internet skit, Weird does have a few drawn out “Okay, I get the joke, let’s move on” moments that bored me a bit, which happens all too often with movies that are based on hilarious yet shallow ideas. This makes the just-under-two-hours film feel a bit longer than necessary at times; although, it never feels like a slog thanks to its clever writing and stellar performances.    

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is now available for free on the Roku Channel. 

If you have never heard of this streaming service, I do not blame you, but it turns out you don’t need a Roku device to stream it. Just download the app for free from the app store, or visit in any browser. 

You’ll have to sit through a commercial or two while you watch, but that’s a small price to pay for watching a weird movie about a weird man in an appropriately weird way.