Rock Of Ages | < Go Back to Reviews
Reviewed by: Larry H | | movie
This is not a great movie, but it has great moments and the music is invigorating which is needed to prop up the rest of the movie. It is decadent and dangerous for those who buy a ticket and expect routine entertainment. It is funny and fun in a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” kind of way. All characters are straight out of central casting and the costumes and hairdos reinforce the silliness and over-the-top caricatures of the 1980’s Hollywood-era Rock and Roll culture of sex, drugs, and more booze.
Julianne “Footloose” Hough is the fresh-faced Oklahoma girl (Sherrie Christian) who comes to the Sunset Strip to find her fortune because “I’m a singer.” She immediately hooks up with hunky Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) who saves her after she is mugged. Drew helps her get a job at The Bourbon which is a raunchy bar and cabaret run by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and his friend Lonny (Russell Brand). Debauchery and self-indulgence is the order of the day.
And the King of Depravity and Decadence is Stacee Jaxx memorably played by a deeply disturbed and dark Tom Cruise. Stacee Jaxx is a 1980’s Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) not the charming Steven Tyler who judges on “American Idol.” When Cruise’s Jaxx was on the screen, I sat up and paid attention; his screen presence, eye contact, and upper body nakedness was dominant. Cruise turns 50 on July 3rd and he looks like he made a deal with the devil; he’s still got a body.
There is way too much going on in this film for it to be a well-made movie. It has a simple goal of displaying classic 1980’s music, wild costumes and characters, and a storyline that is a mere backdrop for the songs and craziness. And a vehicle to utilize as many talented actors as possible. Throw in Paul Giamatti as the sleazy talent agent, Catherine Zeta-Jones as a hot, crusading wife of the mayor, Mary J. Blige as Justice Chartier, the proprietor of the local gentlemen’s club, and we have a cast that overwhelms this flick and makes no apologies because each of them gets to have fun with bizarre, outrageous characters.
And who gets the blame? Adam “Hairspray” Shankman, director; his forte is choreography which is fortunate as this movie is one big song and dance production. And never forget that tidbit when deciding to see this movie. You will walk out of the movie satisfied if your expectations are in check and you use “Rock Horror” as your measuring stick. And you think you’d like to hear some 80’s music and can’t remember the last time you heard “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Any Way You Want It,” “I Love Rock N’ Roll,” and “Don’t Stop Believing,” then you will be ok. And Larry H says: Rock ‘n Roll.
About "Uncle Larry"
Larry W. Harrison has been writing reviews since 1997 and hundreds of his reviews are archived on his web page at www.LarryHmoviereviews.com. Larry's passion for movies and the law began at an early age when he first saw Gregory Peck's memorable portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. His reviews typically have a humorous twist with a sprinkle of schtick, but he is serious about his dedication to the quality of movies. He writes under the name of "Larry H." and always concludes his reviews with his signature ending of "Rock 'n Roll." Larry is a native Texan and an Adjunct Professor at the Sugar Land campus of the University of Houston.
Photo Credit: geektyrant.com, filmofilia.com
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