“The following is kind of based on a true story a little bit.” There is a germ of truth to the opening disclaimer to this simultaneously hackneyed and likable rock-’n’-roll redemption tale. There really was a guy who, 40 years after the fact, discovered that John Lennon had written him a letter telling him to stay true to his art. Danny Collins simply replaces English folk singer Steve Tilston, who never found fame or riches but did remain true to the music, with a fictional American folk-rock sellout with plenty of regrets.
Al Pacino plays Danny as a music celebrity living high on his legacy, doing what looks like a lounge-act version of Mick Jagger on the casino circuit. He’s on showbiz autopilot, performing his greatest hits for the AARP demo with a voice like gravel, numbing the monotony with lines of blow and fifths of booze