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“Rock Of Ages” – Review (NEGATIVE)

June 15, 2012

For me, there weren’t a ton of high hopes to contain my mild anticipation for “Rock of Ages”, it’s got some music that I like to listen to, rock ‘n’ roll, and that’s about it. The one thing that did however catch my interest was the casting of Tom Cruise as this eccentric rock icon, and to my surprise, I learn that he actually sings all his musical numbers. While Cruise succeeds in bringing the audience such a colorful weirdo of a rocker to life, the movie falls completely flat with such a bland script, filled with cheap dialogue, boring characters, and a typical formulaic structure. Not to mention a piss poor supporting cast of characters.

It’s 1987, the high point of heavy metal rock ‘n’ roll, Sherrie (Julianne Hough) is leaving Oklahoma to become a singing sensation. All she wants to be is to become a star. She makes her way to the strip of Hollywood meeting a bartender named Drew (Diego Boneta) who shares the same dream. After being robbed of all her worldly possessions, Drew lends a helping hand by getting Sherrie a job as a waitress at the Bourbon Room, a rock club that is the pinnacle hot stop to listen to some good tunes. The club is in trouble, as a vicious woman, who just so happens to be the mayor’s wife, Patti (Catharine-Zeta Jones) makes it her mission to be rid of the hateful music of rock, and the club that supports it more than anybody around. The only hope the club is from a burn out of a rock star named Stacee Jaxx (Cruise).

Like I said, Cruise steals the movie, he’s a supporting character, but every one of his scenes is far more interesting than the overall plot of this entire film. I get it, boy/girl fall in love, have big dreams, fall in a rut, break up, go through some soul searching bullshit, then come out of it A-OK. Who gives a shit! It’s boring! Jaxx’s character was far more exciting. I wanna know why he’s such a drunk, why he’s a burn out, what happened to his past, why’s he such an asshole! But NO, the movie pulls that bullshit where the fame got the better of him, BULLSHIT! Give me something interesting movie!

The music is fun sure, but it’s nothing really special to listen when actors who’ve never sung in their lives start to make it all sound like an episode of “Glee”. The only two who actually have good musical pipes are Russell Brand (look to “Get Him to the Greek”) and surprisingly enough Tom Cruise. Seriously, Cruise was outstanding; the dude is quite the pro. For whatever he was given to work with, he gave it 110% commitment. This really should’ve been Cruise’s show, but then the whiny fans of the Broadway musical this movie is based on would complain that he’s not the focus of the movie. Look, I’ve never seen the musical, nor do I care to, but it seems to me that there are some movies that belong on the stage and NOT on the big screen.  “Rock of Ages” falls into that category.

The supporting cast is dreadful, with the exception of Paul Giamatti & Alec Baldwin, but everyone else was painful to watch. Julianne Hough cannot act, she comes extremely phony and fake, newcomer Diego Boneta looks uncomfortable & out of place here, putting these two together creates scenes of awkwardness and embarrassment. Their soap opera-like dialogue isn’t helping them too much at all. One of my major issues with the script is the contradiction between musical numbers and the point few characters try to make. Like, Zeta Jones’ character Patti, she exclaims that rock music is satanic and must be stopped, then she breaks into a musical number that is clearly a ROCK SONG! Yes, I get it, it’s a rock musical, but it doesn’t make any god damn sense! It contradicts the entire argument the character is trying to convey! Another scene where Drew & Sherrie sing a song about love or what not, afterwards Sherrie asks the stage shy Drew to sing ‘her’ a song. He replies, ‘I can’t.’ WHAT???? You two just sang a song for our enjoyment! What the hell movie?!?!? By the way, there’s this totally ridiculous subplot where Russell Brand & Alec Baldwin’s character’s sporadically fall in love with one another, it’s brought up ONCE, and never discussed ever again. WHAT–THE–FUCK MOVIE!??!?!

Obviously I’m getting ahead of myself, and perhaps taking this movie a tad too seriously, AGAIN, I GET IT, it’s a musical, it’s a rock musical, but there are far more superior rock musicals out there that are 10x better than this pile of Adam Shankman horse shit; “Tommy” can you hear me? Save me!

GRADE: D

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