One Direction further their bid for world domination with the release of documentary This Is Us. Hardcore Directioners will no doubt lap up this 90-minute trip behind the scenes with Harry, Liam, Niall, Zayn and Louis, but what about everybody else?
Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock might be a promising choice as director, but there's none of that Oscar-nominated doc's sharp wit or inventiveness on show here. Instead we get a product that's sanitised, squeaky clean and so painfully afraid of controversy and revelation. Spurlock has railed against the man in the past, yet here he's jumped straight into bed with him, staying rigidly on message with Simon Cowell and the Syco team.
This Is Us charts the group's formation on The X Factor and their fast rise to arena tour superstardom. Spurlock weaves together archive footage, concert performances, backstage hijinks and talking head interviews with the group and their families. There's even room for celebrity cameos in the form of Martin Scorsese, Chris Rock and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, the film offers up no real sense of what the band are really like as individuals away from fame. Family members are parachuted in to add some emotional weight, but there's no mention of girlfriends (Taylor Swift and Perrie Edwards are notably absent) or any inter-band squabbling.
In one scene, Harry and Liam recall how Zayn once didn't turn up to meet the others at a coffee shop and was almost thrown out of the group. Hardly high drama. Harry also confesses that he hates fame, but this is brushed aside quickly and it's on to more "our fans are amazing" rhetoric.
On stage it's a slightly more promising proposition - the quintet are nothing if not energetic entertainers and they come to life in the arena, powering through spiky pop numbers like 'What Makes You Beautiful', 'Live While We're Young' and a cover of 'Teenage Dirtbag'. Spurlock also uses 3D to enhance the performances by decking the band out in flashy superhero outfits and whizzing Space Invaders-like graphics across the screen.
These live portions are when the movie works best, but the rest - from the pranks backstage to an obviously staged campfire scene - all feels painfully contrived. For fans this might feel like they're getting closer to the group, but it's all carefully calibrated to reinforce the 1D brand. This is not a film. It's propaganda.