Tina Turner’s autobiography WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT bursts onto the screen with audacity and sexual energy. Early on, from the little Anna Mae Bullock (circa 7 years) asserting her singular rendition in the church choir to a teenaged Anna Mae singing in a St. Louis nightclub, the audience begins to champion the emerging Tina Turner with the husky boom-box voice. In St. Louis, Anna Mae is reunited with her mother after being raised by her grandmother. Later, she meets charismatic R&B singer-songwriter Ike Turner in a nightclub. He hears her sing, promotes her, then marries her, all the while cruelly abusing her nearly non-stop with black eyes, bloody noses and beatings. After 18 years of an abusive marriage, Tina purportedly finds strength through Buddhism to divorce Ike and begin a solo career.
The movie has considerable strengths, especially in the actors who play Tina and Ike Turner, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, although Angela does not have Tina’s charisma. The superb musical score accurately follows Turner’s life and career. However, the movie also has excessive sensuality; sexual immorality; considerable foul language; excruciating violence; and, Nichiren Buddhism presented as the solution to life’s problems. Even so, Tina Turner’s zest and determination need to be commended.
(FR, Ab, A/D, LLL, NN, SS, VVV) Buddhism extoled in Turner's lifestyle; Christianity slighted; extensive alcohol & drug abuse; over 50 obscenities & vulgarities, & at least 15 profanities; semi-nude dressing in Turner's skimpy stage costumes; fornication scenes & suggested adulterous relationships; and, excessive violence in numerous scenes where Ike hits Tina and beats her up giving her black eyes, bruises & broken bones.