Picks and Pans Review: Let's Spend the Night Together

updated 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

The searing rock energy of the Rolling Stones' 1981 U.S. tour was captured on vinyl by their Still Life LP last year. Now see the major motion picture. Director Hal Ashby has captured Jagger, Richard, et al. in some wonderfully intimate glimpses from outdoor (sunny Arizona) and indoor (New Jersey) venues. Jagger, for instance, belts one tune so close to the camera you see his upper molar fillings and popping carotids. As for guitarist Keith Richard, well, phone home, spaceman, and keep those power chords hot. Unfortunately, the film plods along and offers too little. Aside from some bizarre spliced-in newsreel-type scenes of a starving man, an immolation and a few fleeting backstage teases, it's almost all performing footage. Fans already know the Stones onstage. Why not give their worshipers something priceless, something even scalpers couldn't extort—the humanizing chitchat, the wearying travel scenes, the girlfriends? Ashby does accomplish one grand coup—a hilariously accelerated time-lapse sequence of the construction of a stage site. Much more could have been made of this project, even without the grim realism of their 1970 tour film, Gimme Shelter. There is just too much vain self-celebration going on. (PG)

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