Timed with the March 17th release of U2’s retrospective album Songs Of Surrender, Disney+ will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with the documentary/travelogue/concert film Bono & The Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, with Dave Letterman. As U2 prepares to release a collection of 40 re-recorded gems from their forty-year career, the film takes two of its founding members back to their roots for a meaningful walk down memory lane.
David Letterman’s history with U2 goes back decades through his hosting duties on late-night TV, but the film documents his first trip to Dublin for a personal meeting with Bono and The Edge. The two friends and bandmates are interviewed individually and together by the host and, in his free time, Letterman tours the city, seeing spots that are meaningful to both artists’ stories. As Letterman experiences Dublin, he also rewards the locals he meets with a ticket to a very special performance by Bono and The Edge at the former Ambassador Cinema building.
Live performances by Bono and The Edge include some of the biggest U2 hits like “Vertigo,” “Beautiful Day,” and “One.” But through archival footage, the documentary components of the film include bits of over twenty additional songs, including videos of performances from the earliest days of U2. And there’s even a new song to be found, co-written by Bono and The Edge and inspired by David Letterman’s visit.
It’s impossible to have lived on this planet without being familiar enough with U2’s music to have a casual interest in this film, which is exactly the amount of prior knowledge I had coming into it. I found the film to be easily accessible and informative, and my guess is that a diehard U2 fan will either learn or see something in the film that will make the 90-minute runtime worth their while. And with its simultaneous release with a new album comprised of 40 songs revisited by the band, it succeeds in drumming up additional interest for your average Disney+ subscriber who may not own a single U2 album (except the one iTunes forced on us all).