Sunday, June 17, 2012

Movie Review: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages was a lot of fun. If you enjoy the rock of the 80’s then you’ll probably enjoy it too. However, if you are looking for great acting, a wonderful script or anything else, you will be sorely disappointed.

An adaptation of the hit musical, Rock of Ages follows Sherrie (Julieanne Hough) from her home in safe Oklahoma with her sweet grandma to the mean streets of Los Angeles. The streets are so mean that moments after getting off the Greyhound, she is mugged and her one suitcase is stolen. The suitcase with all of her albums! Of course, coming to her aide is the adorable Drew (Diego Boneta - the South American Justin Bieber). He’s a bartender and wannabe singer at The Bourbon Club … the mecca for all things rock-n-roll. As fate would have it, a waitress has just quit. So a half-hour after getting off the bus, Sherrie has a job and a hot guy … no albums, but hey, you can’t have everything.

Dennis Dupress (Alec Baldwin) is the club’s owner. He’s banking on the night’s big act, Staccee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) and his sleezy manager Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti), to rescue the club. But hoping to close the club down is the mayor’s wife Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She is a born-again Christian and a hardcore opponent of hard rock.

Julieanne and Diego are game but the poor kids just don’t have the acting chops. The by-the-numbers script didn’t help much either. The dialogue was functional. It’s purpose was to get from song to song. Fortunately, there were lots of songs. Even though, as singers, Hough, Boneta and Cruise gave it their all but vocally they were still a little light. I was actually scared for Julieanne when she had to sing with Mary J Blige!

Having said all of that, Rock of Ages realizes that it isn’t an Academy Award-winning event. It is fun and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love all 80’s music and so does the friend I saw it with. We sang along with all of the songs and had a good time. If you, like we did, know all the words to Rock You Like a Hurricane, Wanted Dead or Alive and Sister Christian then you might like this too. If you don’t like 80’s rock and hair metal or if you are swinging on the other side of the pendulum (a rock-n-roll purist who wouldn’t appreciate the musical-esque interpretation of the songs), then take a pass.

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