The Dury's Out on This One
Having contracted Polio at a young age Ian Dury defied the odds and even defied the bullying he suffered when he went to a special needs school. After finishing school and despite his twisted leg and withered arm he went on to front a couple of bands till with the Blockheads he achieves chart success. As for his private life, well he separated from his wife and ended up living with Denise, a younger woman with his son Baxter joining them.
I was too young to really be in to Ian Dury & the Blockheads at the height of their fame and to be brutally honest whilst I knew the name Ian Dury prior to watching "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" it was more to do with remembering the news of his death in 2000. But I am not one to be put off by a lack of knowledge when it comes to biopics because more often than not a biopic can still convey a person's life. Unfortunately that isn't the case when it comes to "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" as you need to have a basic knowledge of Dury's life and career to be able to follow this intentionally disjointed narrative. It is a styling which will work for some who can appreciate the clever transitions and musical scenes but as I said you need the existing knowledge to appreciate it.
What that means is that with no knowledge of Dury's career "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" becomes a performance movie and Andy Serkis delivers a huge performance as Ian Dury and certainly an entertaining one. But I don't know how close to Ian Dury Serkis gets and at times it seems even larger than life, too larger than life for someone who I understand lived life at 200% all of the time.
What this all boils down to is that "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" didn't work for me and it is one of the few biopics I have come across which can't be watched without any prior knowledge of the person it is about. Without that knowledge of Ian Dury it becomes all about the performance of Ian Dury which is certainly entertaining.