DVD Review: "The Rebirth of Cool: U2 In The Third Millennium"

U2
The Rebirth Of Cool: In The Third Millennium
Sexy Intellectual (SIDVD542)

If you are of the opinion that U2 has righted the ship, and that the band has washed away all the glitzy, style-over-substance sins of the disastrous Pop with All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, then “The Rebirth Of Cool: U2 In The Third Millennium” is going to be the feel-good story of the year.

There are those, however, who would argue that while there’s little doubt U2 has rehabilitated itself after what essentially was a lost weekend that lasted from 1997 to 2000, neither album — for all their radiant, heart-bursting glory, deeply resonant melodies and jet-powered riffs — is The Joshua Tree.

At least one of a handful of music journalists who provide the overwhelming majority of the commentary here would beg to differ in the case of All That You Can’t Leave Behind. And perhaps he’s right. Still, the way he and everybody else here gushes about U2’s new-millennium work, you’d think that because of it the band that is “ … re-applying for the job of best band in the world,” as Bono said in 2001, had already earned their angels’ wings in heaven.

A little one-sided, “The Rebirth of Cool” isn’t the most objective assessment of U2’s recent renaissance. The DVD does go overboard in trying to establish a case it has already decided, but it’s also pretty persuasive. And because it mostly deals with the hits off both of those albums, it’s not as “in-depth” a study as you’d want or expect.

By the end, however, you just might buy their supposition that these albums are not merely really good but are, in fact, godhead. Rest assured, the wealth of U2 footage, from concerts and videos to news clips, will entertain those not interested in debate, and there’s enough interview material cobbled together to gain an understanding of just how U2 went about plotting the revival of its brand. An uplifting story to be sure, “Rebirth Of Cool” is well-edited and the narration is strong and full of interesting history. It’s not perfect, but for U2 fans who haven’t lost the faith, it will confirm your belief that U2 is the most important band in the world.

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