Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson reviews the movie Rock of Ages.
This week’s movie was Rock of Ages, a musical made up of strictly 80’s rock music. For those who grew up in this era, it is a trip down memory lane. You get to hear songs by artists like Def Leppard, Poison and Bon Jovi. The movie is based off a 2006 Broadway musical by the same name.
The film starts out with Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) moving to Los Angeles from Tulsa, Oklahoma. As soon as she arrives, she gets mugged on the streets of L.A. in front of The Bourbon Room, a bar on the Sunset Strip.
Drew Boley, (Diego Boneta) a barback at The Bourbon Room, sees the robbery and feels bad enough to help Sherrie get a job at The Bourbon Room. She is hired by Dennis Dupree, (Alec Baldwin) the owner of the club.
Drew and Sherrie end up falling in love with each other as the work together at the club. As they prepare for rock band Arsenal’s last concert ever, Sherrie convinces Dupree to let Drew be the opening act.
Right before Drew goes on stage, he sees Sherrie come out of the dressing room with the lead singer of Arsenal Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise). He imagines the worse, breaks up with Sherrie and the two continue on their separate paths throughout the movie.
Fun Fact: Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell were also considered for the role of Dennis Dupree.
What I Liked:
As would be expected, I was a big fan of the music that was sung throughout this movie. If you listen to the “Mike McFeely Show,” you realize that rock music is something I constantly use to go into and out of segments. Much of that music is heard during this film.
Julianne Hough is an amazing singer and extremely beautiful. She is easy to fall in love with as the main actress during this movie. Her voice alone can carry a musical and it only helps that the rest of the crew delivers with great singing performances.
The storyline fits right along with the music and the era that music comes from. Powerful lyrics about wanting to party, rock and having a good time make you want to jump back 25 years and sing along with the music.
What I Didn’t Like:
The opening dragged on for what seemed like forever, yet seemed too quick. There was more singing than actually talking. I understand it’s a musical, but I was lost because all the characters were being introduced by music, and next thing you know, it is Arsenal’s last show and we barely had any character development.
The movie slows down a bit after that and begins to develop some structure, but I felt rushed into trying to believe Drew and Sherrie were in love. You also lose out on the fact that there is a group out there opposing the running of The Bourbon Room. The movie never gives you a chance to feel like that the closing of the club might actually happen.
I am someone who likes to be drawn in right away because it at least keeps my attention until the midway point. I almost gave up on this movie 20 minutes in. I didn’t believe that there was any connection between characters because of the speed of the opening.
F = Forget It!
I went and saw it in theaters so you did not have too. The music is great and that is to be expected. The actors do a good job, but are not too believable. Cruise, Hough and Paul Giamatti, who plays Paul Gill, Stacee Jaxx’s agent, are the most convincing actors. The others are pretty forgettable.
The beginning goes to quick, yet it takes forever to get to the heart of the movie. Two storylines, the ladies that oppose rock and roll and the strip club, seemed to be thrown in there because they are part of the Broadway musical.
If you grew up in the 80’s, you’ll undoubtedly get enjoyment out of this flick, but don’t worry about going to see in theaters. Wait until it comes out on DVD, or even better, VHS.
Next up: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World