Photo courtesy Paramount Pictures

The musical biopic has become a go-to subgenre for Hollywood over the past few years. Dramatizing the life story of a popular musician makes good business sense as the artist will have a built-in fan base that will buy tickets and it will be nearly impossible to screw up the soundtrack.

It’s easy to be cynical about these movies until they make one about an artist you actually care about. I ran into this problem with “Bob Marley: One Love,” a paint-by-numbers biopic about the reggae icon who became an international sensation before dying young from cancer at the age of 36.

I was introduced to Marley’s music in college and instantly fell in love with his unrelenting message of peace and love set to a laid-back Caribbean beat.

“Bob Marley: One Love” picks up at a time when Marley’s musical ascension coincides with political violence tearing at the heart of his home country of Jamaica in the late 1970s.

Marley is played by Kingley Ben-Adir, a charismatic actor who channels Marley most effectively while performing on stage and cutting through dialogue with a thick Jamaican accent.

Marley tries to remain above the political fray, but the violence literally comes home when gunmen attack his house, wounding Marley and nearly killing his wife Rita (Lashana Lynch).

Marley and his family flee Jamaica, and while in self-imposed exile in London, Marley and his band The Wailers put all of their angst into the recording of the album “Exodus,” which is regarded as one of the most influential albums of the 20th century.

Director Reinaldo Marcus Green plays the whole affair straight and up the middle, with occasional flashbacks to show Marley’s start in music and his introduction to the Rastafarian beliefs that shaped his lyrics and marijuana intake.

Because several members of the Marley family serve as executive producers on the film, you won’t find much controversy or nuance in the portrayal of Bob as a character as the movie sidesteps any flaws he may have had as a person to put him on a pedestal as an almost saintly prophet of peace.

The music is the ultimate star of the show and while the storytelling in “Bob Marley: One Love” may be bland and conventional, the beat remains mighty powerful.

“Bob Marley: One Love” is rated PG-13 for marijuana use and smoking throughout, some violence and brief strong language.

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