Friday, June 15, 2012

Rock of Ages: Movie Review


Comedy, singing and rock Gods, but it's not the musical of the ages.

Tom Cruise channeling Axl Rose? I am so there. It has been rumored that Cruise’s inspiration for his fictional character Stacee Jaxx came from the Guns N' Roses frontman. After seeing “Rock of Ages”, I’m pretty sure we can claim that is a fact. Everything that we expected out of this movie was there. Cruise was undeniably the rock God that we have always wanted him to be, and our small town girl and city boy sang and danced to their hearts’ delight.

Directed by: Adam Shankman

Screenplay by: Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo, Allan Loeb

Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin

That being said there was definitely something missing. Perhaps more ‘80s rock songs, and probably switching up the main roles were needed. Nobody will take this to awards glory like Constantine Maroulis’ Tony nomination from the original Broadway production. As cute as the small town girl (Julianne Hough) and city boy (Diego Boneta) are, they don’t have the charisma that the stars need. The stars with the charisma don’t have enough to do. I have now realized that I have always wanted to see Alec Baldwin as 30 Rock’s Jack let his hair down and put on a pair of jeans, but he doesn’t need a love interest for the sole purpose of adding in another joke.

Remember that this is a musical so the most that anybody does is sing, a lot. These aren’t so much characters as standardized movie archetypes. That being said the supporting actors were fleshed out with minimal scenes. Catherine Zeta-Jones was established as the ball-busting Christian wife during one of the best musical numbers where she choreographed her intention of grabbing Jaxx’s testicles and ripping them from his body. Bryan Cranston plays her almost-castrated husband, but don’t worry he’s never as innocent as he seems.

I have had the pleasure of experiencing Rock of Ages live, and although this larger-than life movie version is certainly big, and fun and flashy, it doesn’t quite take you back to the 80s where you dreamed of love, fame and fortune.