It sounds like a dream: A charismatic Filipino singer from the slums of Manila posts videos of his cover band to YouTube, and soon he’s fronting an iconic rock band. Sounds crazy, but it’s the real-life rock-and-roll fairy tale that Arnel Pineda is living as the new lead singer of Journey.
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The "Slumdog" narrative is compelling, but Diaz shies away from anything meaty. Pineda's hurt when chastised for being too energetic on stage, but Diaz doesn't probe when he wonders if/how his own artistry will come through. When he meets Chicago's replacement singer, we don't get to see them commune. Beyond praising him as a clone, his Journey bandmates offer him no camaraderie. The film lacks any grit. 3.5