Before you watch “Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out,” which is basically 75 minutes of Stewart Copeland’s home movies of the seminal ’70s and ’80s rock band, consider this question: Do you REALLY want to watch 75 minutes of Stewart Copeland’s home movies? Do you want to watch 75 minutes of ANYONE’S home movies?
Because it turns out Copeland’s home movies are as boring as everyone else’s. Sure, Copeland was drummer for the Police, and he filmed lots of stuff between the time he got his Super 8 camera in 1978 and the time the band broke up amicably in 1985. Yeah, the footage shows Copeland, Andy Summers and Sting in their natural habitat, backstage at shows and in tour buses on the road. But understand this: Just because you have filmed something doesn’t mean you have made a movie. The surveillance camera at 7-Eleven films things, too.
“Everyone Stares” sounds like a good idea, but it isn’t one. Copeland, a folksy, sincere-sounding man now in his 50s, narrates the footage, which very loosely tells the story (from Copeland’s point of view) of the group’s rise to prominence. No new interviews were conducted; the film consists entirely of the stuff Copeland shot back in the day.
The problem is, Copeland didn’t know he was making a movie when he shot it. He wasn’t careful to make sure key moments were documented; he was just fooling around. So the Police’s most successful, most legendary album “Synchronicity” barely gets a mention, simply because Copeland didn’t happen to film much that related to it. At another juncture, someone says, “We’re starting to not support each other. It’s getting lonely in this band.” The band is apparently on the verge of breaking up — yet there is no footage to document that. No fights, no arguments, no tension. Just Copeland telling us about it, 20 years after the fact.
The film is a disappointment, plain and simple. Hardcore fans of the band will be delighted to see ANY footage, of course, coherent, revealing or otherwise. The rest of us are left to feel like the screaming fans pounding on the tinted limousine windows: We catch a few glimpses of what’s going on inside, but mostly we’re left out.
D+ (1 hr., 15 min.; )