Adapted from guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, the narrative unfolds largely from his point of view, played by Toby Wallace. Inspired by the likes of David Bowie, the Swakers (originally called the Swakers) channeled their energies and anger into music, embodying their labor roots and rootlessness, and their hostility to power in all its myriad forms.
“We’re not really interested in music,” Jones told a reporter when the band got started. “We are in a mess.”
Other actors include Louis Partridge and Emma Appleton as Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy, whose tragic story was documented in the 1986 film; And Game of Thrones graduated Maisie Williams as a punk Jordan icon who, despite the modest size of the role, her contribution stems more from her promotional value than the actual story.
For that story, Boyle (whose main credits include “Trainspotting” and its sequel) and writer/producer Craig Pierce (“Moulin Rouge!”) race through a near-psychedelic showcase of these violent, screaming, wild acts as London punk rock-turned-rebellion Young people to disrupt the existing social order.
Simply put, nihilism may be provocative, but it can also be somewhat boring. Real-life rules don’t stop the project from flaunting some of the usual business clichés like “A Star Is Born”.
As you’d expect from a project based on the Sex Pistols, there will be blood, sex, and more than a little bit of spit. What’s not there, once you leave the sordid nostalgia of the ’70s behind, much, dramatically, leaves a clear imprint.
The pistol was released May 31 on Hulu.