Brian Wilson Long Promised Road is a 2021 documentary film about the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson that was directed by Brent Wilson (no relation). It follows Brian and Rolling Stone editor Jason Fine as they drive around Los Angeles and visit locations from Brian’s past.
In truth, we found Brian Wilson Long Promised Road to be a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s always thrilling to watch a documentary about Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys because he obviously deserves all the accolades possible as one of the greatest music artists of all time. On the other hand, director Brent Wilson did a poor job in putting this together. Watching the documentary, it’s not clear what exactly Wilson was trying to achieve and which audience he was attempting to reach.
The interview subjects by and large were awful choices. Nick Jonas? Linda Perry? Taylor Hawkins? Who cares what they think about Brian Wilson? We can understand the interviews with Elton John and Bruce Springsteen – at least they are from the right era to speak as fans of Brian’s work. But Nick fucking Jonas? All the director was doing was pandering to an audience which would not have been interested in Brian Wilson anyway, so what’s the point? And that bit about Hawkins talking about the kind of person that Dennis Wilson was, how the fuck would he know? He was only 11 years old when Dennis tragically died! Hmm.
But that’s not the worst part. It is extremely painful to watch Brian being interviewed himself as he is obviously terrified in every sequence. Here is a fragile soul who keeps sharing about how scared he is in every encounter and the documentary puts him through these obviously uncomfortable situations and for what? To get a response from him for the camera? And that bit where Brian finds out that former Beach Boys manager Jack Rieley had passed away three years before – Brian responds very badly and yet it’s in the documentary. Why? How exploitative can one get? How could the people looking after Brian allow this? Disgraceful.
Like we said, Brian Wilson Long Promised Road is a mixed bag. In all honesty, we cannot recommend this documentary for the reasons stated. Watch at your risk but be prepared to be ‘triggered’.
Now streaming on AppleTV+.
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