That’s the word that comes to mind looking back at Rock of Ages.
It’s not the best writing or story or whatever else you’re looking for at the Sundance Film Festival, but it sure is a damn good time. Let me start by throwing out a few pros and cons from the movie:
1) The soundtrack. Holy shit. How did they the rights to so many badass songs for this movie? If you’re a fan of 80s metal (as everyone in the world should be), then there’s no reason you won’t at least be entertained by the music.
2) Tom Cruise. Man, he kicks ass. He was the perfect spaced-out rock star. And so damn weird. Of course, he may have just been being himself. I’m not too sure. Either way, he was all kinds of entertaining to watch.
3) Strippers. Lots of them. Need I say more?
1) It’s a musical. Like, a straight-up musical. You know it from the very beginning, at least, because the movie starts with Julianne Hough busting out into “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger, and everyone else on the bus she’s riding joins in the song with her.
2) Having “Don’t Stop Believin'” as the pivotal song of the movie. Rock of Ages is already going to draw plenty of comparisons to Glee. Having the song that Glee did it’s original advertising to as Rock of Ages‘ theme isn’t going to lessen that at all.
Oh hey, look… More pros than cons. Nice. That means it’s worth watching. I really did enjoy it, though. You know what’s my main barometer? I always feel like movies are way too effing long. This one was two hours, which is too long for me. However, the first time I even looked at my phone for the time to see how much was left was an hour and a half through the movie. That’s a good thing.
The story revolves around a chick from Oklahoma who is going to Los Angeles to become a famous singer. When she gets there, she runs into (and of course immediately falls in love with) a barback at The Bourbon Room, which is a world-famous rock club in L.A. He gets her a job at the club and is also aspiring to take the stage at the club someday, so they both chase their dreams and sing shitloads of songs along the way. The acting is pretty good throughout the movie, and Russell Brand actually made it through a whole movie without annoying the hell out of me.
Alec Baldwin makes for a good washed up old rocker who runs the club, and there are other strong supporting roles, like Bryan Cranston as a philandering mayor, Catherine Zeta-Jones as his stick-up-her-ass wife, and then some random dude who takes a call from Tom Cruise toward the end of the flick and had the whole theater laughing in his 15 seconds of film time.
I know I said it being a musical was a con earlier, but honestly, it’s refreshing to see a musical come out these days in the theater when most movies are remakes or sequels. The plot may not be the most original, but the way they portrayed it was. The fact that they used really great music helped a lot too. Their arrangements weren’t too Glee-ish, so it worked out. They actually had some really cool mash-ups of songs in the movie too. I think my favorite was the mixing of “More Than Words” by Extreme with “Heaven” by Warrant.
All in all, I’d say it’s definitely worth a watch, with one caveat: You have to be aware it’s a musical and know that’s what you’re getting yourself into. But if you like seeing lots of spanking, monkeys who are assholes, half-naked chicks, and great music, then go buy yourself a ticket.
Props to Adam Shankman on his directorial debut (as far as I know). Job well done. Oh, and since he is Adam Shankman, I should mention that the choreography is fantastic in the movie too, as you would suspect.
Go give the movie a watch and let me know what you think! If you’ve already seen it, leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’m interested in seeing how other people feel about it.
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