Did you know that Elijah Wood, as well as possessing a pair of Gremlin goggle-eyes, also possesses a virtuoso piano playing talent? No? Nor did The Sloth. Prepare to be properly impressed as he tinkles all of his own ivories in bonkers thriller Grand Piano.
Tom (Elijah Wood) is a retired concert pianist. Retired not because he is old and decrepit, but because years ago he suffered a seisimic attack of stage fright that ended his acclaimed career. Now, with encouragement from his glamorous movie-star wife Emma (Kerry Bishé), he is making a comeback, attempting to play a fiendishly difficult concerto to a packed and expectant audience.
So far so nerve-jangling (for Tom, not the audience – that would make a rum thriller). But, as if he wasn’t uptight enough, Tom then discovers a cryptic note scrawled on his music score proclaiming ‘play one wrong note and you die’. Whatever happened to ‘break a leg?’ And who could be responsible for such a dastardly deed? A disgruntled critic? The mild mannered janitor? With the curtain about to rise Tom, practically comatose with fear, has no time to ponder but takes to the stage to literally play for his life.
This sounds daft and yes, it is properly daft. A schlocky B-movie / Hitchcockian thriller mash up with a side order of Speed. But primarily thanks to Elijah Wood’s sheer boggle-eyed commitment to the role, plus a deranged turn from John Cusack as a fiendish rent-a-villain, on a delightfully camp and OTT level it somehow works. Although if you’re expecting a second helping of The Pianist, despite Elijah’s spectacular playing, we recommend you look elsewhere.
UK release 19 September.