ROCK OF AGES
A small-town girl and a big-city boy find their fates intersecting on the Sunset Strip, riding a wave of romance through the height of the "hair metal" scene as the off-Broadway musical rocks its way to the big screen courtesy of choreographer-turned-director Adam Shankman (A Walk to Remember, Hairspray). Arriving in Hollywood with stars in her eyes, Sherrie (Julianne Hough) meets Drew (Diego Boneta), and together they plunge headlong into the local rock scene. Meanwhile, as Sherrie struggles to stay afloat in a churning sea of rock 'n' roll excess, she gets swept off her feet by audacious rock star Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise). Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Bryan Cranston co-star in a movie featuring music by Journey, Def Leppard, Poison, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Joan Jett, and REO Speedwagon. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Release Date: Jun 15, 2012
Cast: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Director: Adam Shankman
Rated: Sexual Content, Language, Some Heavy Drinking and Suggestive Dancing
Runtime: 2 hr. 3 min.
Genres: Music/Performing Arts
80’s hair band rock has that incredible ability to get pretty much anybody to sing along, many a drunken karaoke bars are a testament to that. The musical Rock of Ages strikes me as one of those golden ideas that everybody wishes they would have thought of first, its easy money. The film version of the musical is like mother’s milk, easy to love and hard to criticize. A steady sense of fun permeates throughout the film’s runtime. Adam Shankman, who directed the equally energetic Hairspray, knows the film’s songs are its strong suit and he delivers them in wonderfully garish set pieces. His cast is all strong even if the leads are a tad bland and almost intrusive in the latter half of the film. Julianne Hough is a annoyingly cute and suffers from duck voice. Diego Boneta is capable but easily forgettable. The supporting cast is impressive, made up of big names taking their turn at singing classic songs from the 80’s. Catherine Zeta-Jones is such a wonderful little powder keg that it’s easy to overlook her shoehorned character, the role was created for the film, even if it feels a tad out of place from time to time. Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand might as well be considered a single character as they bounce off each other regular and exclusively. Paul Giamatti could be cast as a sleazy character for the rest of his career and nobody would complain. Mary J. Blige has a small role but reminds everybody what a real singer sounds like. Needless to say the supporting actors are all strong but this is truly one man’s movie. Tom Cruise simply owns the film as soon as he shows up on screen. He turns in a performance that makes you forget the other actors and count the moments he’s off screen.s. His turn as Stacee Jaxx is an awards worthy performance period. While Cruise is in top form even he can’t mask some of the flaws of the film. The film’s runtime is a long slog of 2 hours, if you had drinks it might be easy to sit through but otherwise it’s overlong for no good reason since the plot is as thin as you’d expect. Said plot is an after thought, which is to be expected, really hammering the point that there’s no reason to make the film 2 hours plus. A simple note to film makers, just because you use a monkey in your production doesn’t mean we have to linger on it’s actions throughout the film. It’s not hilarious every time. As is this film is the kind that will work best on video where you can skip to your favorite songs while you have a drink in hand.