Release date: 15 June 2012
Starring: Diego Bonita, Dakota Sage Grant, Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise, Matt Sullivan.
Director: Adam Shankman
Duration: 123 min
Rating: stars: 3 stars out of 5 stars
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
The hard-rock, heavy-metal retro musical “Rock of Ages” might seem like a movie natural, but Adam Shankman (whose “Hairspray” was a delight) never locates the right tone. You can’t blame him exactly. However you play up this material – as camp, melodrama, anthem, or goof – it sags under the weight of its lightweight pretensions.
Camper than a Russell Grant dance and cheesier than Gorgonzola soup, Rock Of Ages is musical silliness for anyone who found Footloose too intellectual.
It’s crass when it should be comic, and hasn’t an innovative thought in its head, but the stage version is a hit, so clearly there’s an audience for the world’s tackiest jukebox musical, built around heavy-metal anthems that mostly sold better in the U.S. than here.
It tells the utterly hackneyed story — check out 42nd Street if you want to see it done properly — of a small-town girl with dreams of showbiz success.
There’s a good chance he will fail, as the first song he composes for her is Don’t Stop Believin’, a hit for Journey way back in 1981. ‘I can’t believe you wrote that,’ she has to gasp with a straight face.
Both work in a rock club run by ageing heavy-metal fan Alec Baldwin and his British assistant — Russell Brand with an accent that roams between Birmingham and Liverpool.
Too bad that the moralising mayor of LA (Bryan Cranston) and his born-again Christian wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) want to close it down for being a Satanic influence on the young.
Yes, that’s right. We are asked to believe the religious Right ran LA in the Eighties. The real mayor at that time was Tom Bradley, a black Democrat noted for his liberalism.
More credible is the idea that Baldwin’s club is in trouble with the taxman. ‘Taxes are so un-rock ’n’ roll,’ he complains. But he hopes his club is going to be saved by the last gig of the Arsenal, a heavy-metal band fronted by an insane alcoholic egomaniac, played — for maximum zaniness — by Tom Cruise.
Yet Cruise’s grasping, seedy manager (Paul Giamatti) has other ideas on where the profits should go.
Suspend any notions of real life, good music or taste, and this show has plenty of energy. Cruise’s miming leaves something to be desired, and his gym-toned torso is absurdly wrong for an alcoholic, but he reveals an OK singing voice and unexpected skills as an electric guitarist.
And there’s a memorably camp love duet between two of movieland’s most notorious heterosexuals.
If you’re in the mood for cheerful rubbish and suffer from a mysterious need to be deafened, you could do a lot worse. It reminds me most of cult hit Coyote Ugly, another film that seriously proposes pole-dancing and casual sex with unappetising men as means of feminist empowerment.
Adam Shankman directs with the raucous enthusiasm he brought to Hairspray, which remains his most entertaining work. He also directed three of the worst comedies in history: Cheaper By The Dozen 2, The Pacifier and The Wedding Planner.
But that for the reviewrs, as for the audience, they will find it quiet a pleasure.
We also Suggest: Dance Street 1, Dance Street 2, Step Up 2, Center Stage, Save the last dance.
See the official movie website: http://rockofagesmovie.warnerbros.com/
Review by:- Lobna Hammam