When Björk debuted Biophilia back in 2011 she chose to use a residency at the Manchester International Festival to showcase the material and a new, intimate live show. Described as performing "in the round", the Biophilia live shows - which moved from Manchester to the rest of the world - featured Björk and her backing band on a stage in the centre of the performance space, the audience filling in around them. In Manchester the stage was no more than a roped off section of floor, by the tour's conclusion in Alexandra Palace the stage was more in line with what you'd expect for an artist of Björk's stature.

Three years after Biophilia's release Björk has decided to sign off the project with the release of a live film capturing the tour's final performance. As she remarks at one point during the film, it brings the Biophilia phase of her career full circle - ending, as it began, in the UK. This was a phase in which Björk was at her most innovative and her most extraordinary; pushing the boundaries of music, technology and art whilst blurring the lines between all three. The album might not have been as much of a commercial hit as her previous releases (and it's certainly proved divisive amongst fans) yet there is no denying that it is the work of a rare talent.

Unfortunately Biophilia Live fails to capture that inventive spark and ends up being the weak link in a three-year multi-disciplinary endeavour. Despite an introduction from David Attenborough, which delves into the scientific inspiration behind the record, Biophilia Live remains a fairly traditional live performance film. Whilst directors Peter Strickland and Nick Fenton tend to focus on long, graceful shots that match Biophilia's minimalist beauty, their cameras rarely turn their attention away from Björk and her assembled all-female choir. The surrounding instruments, bespoke and an integral part of the record's unique sound, are overlooked.

This might seem like an odd gripe to those unfamiliar with Biophilia's creation, but one of the wonderful things about the Manchester shows (I admit that my experience of the film is influenced by having been to see the tour) was seeing these unique instruments. The sight of Björk standing between four huge, swinging pendulums whose weights, holding strings of different notes, pivot to be plucked as they pass through the centre of their arc is a powerful image. 'Solstice' is a beautiful song on its own, but witnessing this interplay between singer, machine and gravity is something else entirely.

Things aren't helped by an over reliance on superimposing nature and science inspired imagery over the performance. During the shows Björk was known to show visualisations taken from the accompanying app, or else focus attention on an iPad controlled gamelan, but here the addition of lava flows and crystal formations tend to distract more than enrich the content. During the opening track 'Thunderbolt' the superimposed imagery also takes away from the awe-inspiring effect of the Tesla Coil that sends bolts across its cage producing the track's unmistakable bass line. In real life it's a wonder to behold - a deadly force wrestled under control to create beauty. On Biophilia Live it feels like another effect added in post-production.

One of Biophilia's strengths as a record was its rather intimate tone. This was an album that concerned itself as much with the minutia of nature as it did the monumental. The superimposed images and near absence of the audience (who remain fairly quiet unless roused by an older hit) only serve to distance the viewer from the performance. Biophilia Live's strongest moments are those where the directors allow their cameras in closer and dispose of the visual trickery.

Moments like 'Virus', which features just Björk and percussionist Manu Delago. This gorgeous ballad, which focuses on the tragic relationship of a virus and cell, draws you in thanks to the subdued performance and the simple direction which is allowed to linger on Delago playing the hang drum which gives the song its saddening chimes. Similarly 'Cosmogony', which marks one of the albums grander moments is effectively presented with the superimposed image of constellations that twirl around Björk adding an extra sense of wonder as they feel much more integrated with the performance itself.

The middle of the film is where Biophilia Live really comes into its own, buoyed no doubt by the rousing reception Björk's older material receives. 'Hidden Place' sounds huge in comparison to the songs before, a contrast as well to the delicate rendition that graced Vespertine. Meanwhile 'Possibly Maybe' gets a gorgeous new reworking featuring an introduction of hang drum and choral vocals that's sure to make fans fall in love with the track all over again. When the electronics kick in it's like this classic song has been re-energised and the Tesla Coil from 'Thunderbolt' finally gets to take a starring role by providing the bass line.

Musically, Björk and her supporting band are fantastic. Despite the flaws in the visual presentation this remains an aural treat throughout. The assembled choir provide backing vocals and harmonies throughout lending the minimalistic set-up a sense of grandeur. They alternate between simple backing vocals, soaring chorals and militaristic chanting (particularly during the encore performance of 'Declare Independence'), their contribution is so integral to the show that it only heightens the sense of longing in 'Virus' and 'One Day' as Björk sings alone. Delago's percussion work is exemplary throughout, flitting between delicate hang drum pieces and energetic drumming that lends tracks like 'Mutual Core', 'Crystalline' and 'Declare Independence' and exciting, rhythmic edge. Matt Robertson, meanwhile, provides electronics from the intense eruptions of 'Mutual Core' to the twinkling chimes of 'Crystalline'.

It's just a shame that the musical spectacle isn't matched by the visuals. If that had been the case this could have been a fantastic record of an artist at the peak of her creative endeavours and the perfect sign off for a unique project. Instead the flaws prove to be too distracting early on and may present a barrier for anyone not already enamoured with Biophilia. Whilst there is an extraordinary performance to be found here, it might just be one for the fans only.