Film Review of Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages (12A)
Director: Adam Shankman
Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise.
Release Date: 13th June 2012
So, here we are; another musical adapted into a film – this time, it’s Rock of Ages. Based on the 2006 Broadway show of the same name created by Chris D’Arienzo, the film is about Sherrie (Hough), a girl from a small town in Oklahoma who decides to move to L.A. to make it big. Once she gets there, she meets and falls in love with Drew (Boneta), a waiter at famous Rock venue – The Bourbon Room – who dreams of being a Rock star.
When hearing that Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin are in a film together, it’s more than likely to catch your interest, but once you see the film, it doesn’t really reach up to your expectations. The two main protagonists (Drew and Sherrie) both dream of making it big as Rock stars in L.A. but as characters, they’re both pretty bland. Throughout the two-hour long film, it feels like you’re watching two damp flannels rubbing against one another, or a really weak handshake that lasts for a hundred and twenty minutes of your life – with cheesy, 80’s rock anthems blaring out in the background. Then, Tom Cruise turns up about a quarter of the way through the film and plays an even blander Rock God and you start to wonder why he’s even in the film in the first place. The two characters that have any charisma or any impact at all on the film are good ol’ Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin. Despite the fact that Brand puts on a very dodgy Brummie accent and Baldwin looks like the world’s worst transvestite, you’re sort of glad that they’re in the film – even Bryan Cranston (Hal; the dad from Malcolm in the Middle!) pops up as Los Angeles’ mayor and along with Bladwin and Brand, give the film it’s saving grace…if there is one.
If you’re a fan of 80’s rock anthems being covered and placed in pastiches of 80’s “Hair-Metal” covers then this is the film for you. If you like songs by the following bands: Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, Europe, Night Ranger, Twisted Sister or REO Speedwagon being sung by bunch A-list celebrities in a High School Musical/Glee-esque manner, then you will LOVE this film. Also, if you like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” being sung on repeat for about 15 minutes by Tom Cruise you better clear your calendars and get down to the cinema.
If this film were to be compared to anything, it’s best to be compared with Leerdammer – it’s incredibly cheesy and full of holes (well, in its script, anyway). It’s an incredibly generic perception of an incredibly generic time in Rock/Pop music’s history. But saying that, there are worse films out there…