¨This place is about to become a sea of sweat, ear-shattering music and puke.¨
Filmmaker Adam Shankman just succeeded in bringing to the big screen one of the worst movies of the year. It`s a shame because I had enjoyed his 2008 musical Hairspray, but this one doesn’t work at all. It tries too hard to be funny, but it just felt lame. The first 30 minutes are terrible, the film then picks up thanks to Tom Cruise but it just seemed to drag on forever. The movie may have one of the best soundtracks of the year and that saves it, but that is about the only thing I enjoyed of Rock of Ages. There are a couple few funny scenes but they are too far spread out and like one of the character`s sings near the end ¨the movie keeps on going on and on.¨ I didn’t like that the producers decided to put the words of the song during the musical like if it were a karaoke bar, but I guess a lot of people liked it and it worked for them. I`m just giving my personal opinion and I didn’t think it worked really well as a movie. There were a lot of similarities between this movie and Burlesque, another film I didn’t like very much but is much better than this one. Musicals haven’t worked out really well in the past few years (Burlesque and Nine), and it`s a shame because with films like Chicago, Moulin Rouge, and Dreamgirls it looked like this genre was going through a revival period.
Sherrie (Julianne Hough from the Footloose remake) is a small town girl from Tulsa, Oklahoma that is pursuing her dream of becoming a singer and therefore is moving to Hollywood. Once she arrives to the big city she is introduced to a new world and from the moment she sets her foot in Hollywood she is robbed. But not everyone is a thief in Hollywood and she finds help from a young man who`s also aspiring to become a rock star. His name is Drew (Diego Boneta) and he immediately helps Sherrie by helping her get a job at the same place he works at: the Bourbon Club, famous for having launched Stacee Jaxx`s (Tom Cruise) career as a rock star. Jaxx is at the pinnacle of his career and is thinking of going solo. He will be presenting his last concert with his band at the Bourbon Club run by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin). The club is having some financial troubles, but the concert will put it in the map again. Not everyone admires Stacee Jaxx however, as the mayor (Brian Cranston) and his wife Patty Whitmore (Catherine Zeta Jones) want to clean the city by closing down the famous club responsible for so much immorality. Other important characters in this musical include the talents of Paul Giamatti as Jaxx`s manager, Russell Brand as Dennis`s best friend and work partner, Mary J Blige as a strip club owner, and Malin Akerman as a Rolling Stones magazine reporter.
There is not much more I can add about this review but say that Tom Cruise gave yet another good performance. I also liked the young Diego Boneta who I hadn’t heard about before. He has a decent career ahead of him. Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand are always funny and shared some funny moments together. Julianne Hough is beautiful but she didn’t seem to fit the part in this film. I didn’t like her very much in Rock of Ages. My main complaint has nothing to do with the cast, I just think it was poorly directed and scripted. The film has some great music, but that is about it. I wouldn’t want to watch this film again and couldn’t recommend it to anyone.