Rock of Ages – Review
Choreographer and Director Adam Shankman (Hairspray) brings us the big screen adaptation of Chris D’Arienzo’s Broadway production of the same name. Rock of Ages is a fun time capsule of 80′s rock.
Set in 1987 Los Angeles, Drew and Sherrie are two young people chasing their dreams in the big city. When they meet, it’s love at first sight, though their romance will face a series of challenges as they struggle with new opportunities.
Y’know I was never much for musicals. Yeah sure, I liked Grease when I was younger (and have probably watched it every couple of years since), but overall I could never really get into them. In 2007, I was introduced to Across the Universe, a musical based on 60s music (mostly The Beatles). Even though I had no taste for the music, I absolutely loved this film by Julie Taymor (it’s a permanent addition to my collection). Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a film/musical since to really grab my attention like that… until now. Don’t get me wrong, Rock of Ages isn’t even close to the beauty and elegance found in Across the Universe, but because it’s based on a time from my generation, it’s definitely a musical I can relate to… and enjoy!
The film itself is very predictable, and follows a very familiar story. Bar loosing money, relying on one final show to pay off the debt and save it from being closed. Every aspect of Rock of Ages has been done before in other films, some even better. It’s all very cliche, but fortunately, it’s not the story we’re here for, it’s all about the music, and in that department it delivers. The music is fun and well chosen. The performances for the most part are great. Tom Cruise completely knocks it out of the park as Stacee Jaxx, a rock icon trying to redefine himself as a solo artist. Other players like Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, and Catherine Zeta Jones do fantastic jobs with their characters. Paul Giamatti always plays an excellent slimeball. My only complaint was with the acting performances of the two leads Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough (Footloose). The songs they performed carried them well, but when it came to line delivery, it just wasn’t there. Fortunately, it doesn’t marr the experience. Overall, Rock of Ages stands tall on it’s musical numbers and shows the audience a good time.
If you dig musicals, like 80s rock, or are even just a big fan of Tom cruise, Rock of Ages is worth checking out. There’s a lot of fun to be had, and although predictable, there’s a couple of surprises that’ll have you laughing.