This is not a particularly good movie. The ethnic/ religious humor is uncomfortably close to outright racism and the roles of the bumbling British scientists are simply not funny. It feels as half-assed as it apparently was during the shoot. On the other hand, the music here is great and the performances work as stand alone videos. Next time I watch it I will just fast-forward to the performances and skip the rest.
It's not a horrible movie, but after 'A Hard Day's Night' this doesn't look very good in comparison. They were mostly stoned during the shoot. John was feeling fat, Paul was writing 'Yesterday', George found the sitar, and Ringo proved that he could act better than he could sing.
Playing like a wackier version of A Hard Day's Night, the effect that is made by this is a step below that of the former. It has the same sense of humor, essentially, but lacks the pure energy that made the better Beatles film work. Also the pacing is all over the place and it just gets too silly to be much. The coolest part was the foreshadowing of eastern religion and music on the fab four’s career.
Physical comedy so incoherent it barely qualifies as narrative film. Still, it's worth sitting through the 90 min. just to get a close look—in colour!—at The Beatles and design circa 1964/65. The James Bond craze is very palpable, too. The few funny moments crucially involve, of course... Ringo.
Unfairly underappreciated, I think, but my opinion is coloured by wearing out the VHS tape in my early teens. An enjoyable romp with fabulous music, Liverpudlian wit, exotic locations and a studio budget, it perfectly mirrors the extraordinary narrative of their musical output, slotting in nicely between the naive boyband frenzy of A Hard Day's Night and the otherworldly surreality of Yellow Submarine. (4.5)
It doesn't maintain the intense energy of A Hard Day's Night, but The Beatles' 2nd film is a zany around-the-world adventure that's almost as delightful as it's predecessor. With a bigger budget & an actual "plot" to work with, the Fab Four almost fight for screen time w/ the villains. And while some scenes are unneeded or missed their mark, the film is still a funny film a humor in the Marx Brothers vein.