The songs of Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and other artists underscore a tale of big dreams in Hollywood. Soon after hopping off a bus from the Midwest, aspiring singer Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) immediately finds herself in trouble. Coming to her rescue is Drew (Diego Boneta), a bar-back at the legendary club the Bourbon Room. With stars in their eyes, the young lovers chase their dreams, but a misunderstanding involving rock god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) threatens to tear them apart. (1)
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Hello, Movie Buffs!
In 2007 Director Adam Shankman brought us a new adaptation of the Broadway musical Hairspray, and in 2012 he brought us another Broadway musical to film adaptation, Rock of Ages. If you love classic rock from the 80’s or you grew up during the 80s, then you will enjoy this film. In fact, you don’t even have to enjoy musicals to enjoy this film, just the songs themselves or at least their original versions. Being the musical that it is the scenes are bound to be filled with duets, trios, and group singing, and the transition between each character singing is next to flawless with 2 to 3 songs easily blending into one medley.
Now Rock of Ages (2012) is not a parody film about the 80s but rather it is a celebration of the trend of the 80s rock and metal scene. And while most musicals would die off after the first act but this one will keep you entertained and singing along to the very end; it is the musical of all rock fans. The film revisits familiar classic rock tunes from Def Leppard to Bon Jon Jovi, from Pat Benatar to Journey. There is even a riff on an actual real-life event from that era.
Rock of Ages is not only driven by nostalgia but it is also driven by great character performances. Julianne Hough (Grease LIVE) as Sherrie Christian and Diego Boneta (Before I Fall; The Titan) as Drew Boley captured the bittersweet love of youth. Alec Baldwin (MI – Fallout and A Star is Born) as Dennis Dupree and Russell Brand (Ballers) as Loony had great chemistry together. Catherine Zeta-Jones (RED 2 and Queen America) was hilarious as Patricia Whitmore, a "God-loving Christian" who can simultaneously do Michael Jackson dance moves with a serious, snobby air. Tom Cruise (MI - Fallout) was amusing as rock legend Stacee Jax. But despite undergoing intense voice training for this role there were some moments where he didn’t give a song justice, like when he sung Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard. And finally, while Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) has very little screen time as Justice, the strip joint owner, she did give a great performance both singing and acting.
Overall, Rock of Ages (2012) is an entertaining and nostalgic film that will transport audiences back to the 80s with its outstanding vocals of classic rock songs, creative choreography, and talented cast. The story was good but the main aspect of this film is the songs and the character performances. Whether or not you’re a fan of musicals, if you enjoy classic rock from the 80’s (and even the 70’s) then you will no doubt enjoy this film. Plus I am sure it will help tie you over until you see the latest film Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
"Hey Man, Scotch me."
- Stacee Jaxx [Waves empty bottle to his pet baboon, "Hey Man"]
Worth Seeing: 7 of 10 star
Worth Buying: 7 of 10 stars
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