Heineken have partnered with Picturehouse cinemas in conjunction with their 'Open Your City' campaign to offer Londoner's the opportunity to attend 'Heineken Star Screenings'. These are exclusive preview showings of major films, where you (and a friend) can recline back in the plush velvet chairs of a premium Picturehouse cinema and gorge yourself on free popcorn and Heineken, whilst feasting your eyes on the latest Hollywood has to offer - weeks in advance of their general release.

Get On Up, the new James Brown biopic, is a story we were all shaking and screaming out for but not necessarily the one we hoped for. Chadwick Boseman, recently announced as Marvel's Black Panther, plays the unrelenting Grandfather of Funk. The actor no stranger to real-life portrayals, having previously embodied baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the much underrated 42.

James Brown is one of the few artists who we can truly say, without any doubt, altered the landscape of music forever. His story from abhorrent and abusive poverty in Southern Georgia to megastardom, and his subsequent struggles with drugs and domestic abusive, is one that undoubtedly deserves to be told. However, it is in the flawed storytelling of the similarly flawed protagonist where this potentially great film falls short. The film is delivered through a non-linear narrative representing various stages and incarnations of the man himself (The Famous Flames, Grandfather of Funk, Soul Brother, Mr. Dynamite). This structure, while no doubt intending to keep the biopic fresh and unpredictable, often suffers a stilted pace and tone.

Much like James Brown being the most sampled artist in contemporary music, Director Tate Taylor (who previously made The Help) samples moments of Brown's life. Growing up in a shack in Georgia with his mother (played by the always captivating Viola Davis) and abusive father, Brown is abandoned by his suffering mother. As a young boy, Brown leaves to work in one of his Aunt Honey's whorehouses (Octavia Spencer), who confirms she see's 'the spirit' in him and that he will achieve greatness. The supporting cast in Get On Up is superb and none more so than Nelsan Ellis, who shines in the subtlety of his performance, as Brown's doting and submissive musical underling Bobby Byrd.

Perhaps the most defining moments of Brown's life and those which are potentially a goldmine in understanding his complex character, are merely glossed over. Brown's time in prison, his struggles with drug addiction, tumultuous marriages and his physical and mental abuse of women are all referenced, but never fully explored.

As a purveyor of Funk it is ironic that Mr. Brown's own biopic, for the film's first twenty minutes at least, seems resolutely stuck in one. The narrative does find it's groove, when we are treated to generous renditions of Brown's most infamous performances; the live recording of his Apollo show in 1962, the 1964 T.A.M.I. show, his Madison Square Garden gig: where he prevented a riot after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968.

It is during these live re-enactments that Boseman's portrayal of James Brown is fully realised. He literally throws himself into the role; with twisting hips, swinging mic stands and shimmering capes flung from his shoulders. James Brown, as we all know, was a larger than life character. Often dubbed 'The Hardest Working Man in Show Business', his live shows were electric, and Boseman's execution allows us to see a spark of this.

These performances punctuate the film with a radical energy. The production's insistence (and perhaps its Executive Producer Mick Jagger) on digitally remastering these recordings is understandable, in order to catch that modern high-def gleam, but it was the rawness of the music that the fans originally fell for. James Brown was a force of nature onstage and these reproductions lack the same vitality. Chadwick Boseman may have the moves down and attempts to lip-sync with mustered ferocity, but ultimately finds Mr. Dynamite's gold leotard a little too large to fill.

This is not to say that Boseman does not give a very accomplished performance, it would not be surprising to see his name touted around during awards season, because the academy adore a biopic (Ray, Walk The Line, La Vie En Rose). Boseman is incredibly successful at showing the cold calculating side of James Brown, the control freak who presided over his band with a strict malevolence. The man who needed no one but himself, who refused to share the precious limelight and ultimately corroded the majority of his relationships.

Throughout Get On Up's two hours and twenty minutes, the film is accurate in its portrayal of James Brown as a great musician, but not as a good man. However, the James Brown biopic we had all hoped for, may have been better served from the originally attached director. A gritty pervasive Spike Lee joint, would've arguably been more befitting of the Soul Brother.

Watch the trailer below.