“Get On Up” is now playing at Point, Eastgate and Star Cinema. PG-13, 2:18, three stars out of four.
At first, watching the James Brown biopic “Get On Up” is like listening to his greatest-hits album on shuffle. First, we’re in 1988, when a track-suited Godfather of Soul fires a rifle into the ceiling at one of his businesses and is chased by police. Then we’re back in 1968, as Brown and his band flyon a transport plane to a show in Vietnam, enemy gunfire all around. (While his band cowers, Brown seems more offended than anything else that the Viet Cong might cause him to be late for the show.) Then we’re back in 1939, as a young Brown growing up poor in rural Georgia, the prize in a lifelong tug-of-war between his abusive parents.