Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages is a fun, entertaining film, yet it fails to live up to its Broadway billing as a real hit.

Julianne Hough
With some great rock music and an all-star cast, Rock of Ages would seem a sure bet to be a success, however the film just comes off as being silly, lazy and overly long.

The beautiful Julianne Hough stars in her third musical film in as just as many years. This time she plays Sherrie Christian, who travels from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a famous singer. Meanwhile Diego Boneta plays Drew a Bartender who is busy preparing for another night of work at "The Bourbon Room," a popular nightclub on the Sunset Strip. As Sherrie approaches The Bourbon, her suitcase, containing her favorite records, is stolen. Seeing the incident, Drew tries to catch the robber, but fails. He comforts Sherrie and, upon learning of her situation, he gets her a job at the Bourbon Room as a waitress.

Julianne and Diego are the least known members of this all star cast, and yet there storyline and script is the weakest of the bunch. So it's quite unfair to blame their lackluster performance on there acting ability, even a pair of well versed actors would have a problem of bringing some life to these hollow characters, who surprisingly are the leads in this film. The film is however based on the Musical, but this just goes to show that what works on Broadway doesn’t always work in a film.

Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx
Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand are two of the more colorful characters in the film as Baldwin plays Dennis, Bourbons owner and Brand plays Lonny the Bourbons manager. The pair is quite "close" friends and they have some of the more humorous scenes, which includes an awkwardly funny montage.

Catherine Zeta Jones plays Patricia Whitmore the antagonist of the film.  She has a personal secret that fuels her vendetta to get the Bourbon Room shut down for good. Catherine is certainly quite entertaining in this role, as she proves that villainy is a good look for her.

Tom Cruise plays Stacee Jaxx the lead singer of a rock group called Arsenal! Tom without a doubt is probably the sole reason that makes this film worthwhile. His performance in this film is the sole reason for you to go watch the film. Tom finally puts his crazy demeanor in good use as Stacee Jaxx, playing this widely odd, crazy-eyed, alcoholic, freakishly erotic, seductive, mentally disturbed rock star.

Tom is absolutely mesmerizing in the role, and yet it's a wonder how he wasn't given more screen time.

Malin Ackerman
Malin Ackerman plays a journalist, that isn't afraid of criticizing Jaxx, and telling Jaxx the truth about his career. 

The two have great chemistry and yet their story arc wasn't capitalized upon. Instead they dumb down romance, taking Ackerman from strong woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind, to another of Jaxx groupies that just falls all over him.

The film suffers from having an extremely large cast, as well as an unapologetic poorly conceived story. The characters are thinly drawn out, and are basically in the film, to try and get into scenarios where they can sing a rock song, whether its appropriate or not for their current situation.

With Musical films the songs are supposed to move narrative, instead most of the songs in Rock of Ages are simply there because they cool rock songs. It just slows the film down, forcing you to watch a poorly choreographed dance scene with even worse lip-syncing for the most part.

Catherine Zeta Jones
Needless to say the film would be far better with less songs, less characters and having the film more focused on Tom Cruise and Malin Ackerman’s relationship. 

Keeping the story focused on The Bourbon Room, instead of pretending the film is really about a silly love story between a rock star turned boy band, and a girl with a dream turned stripper.

This just goes to show that maybe what works on a Musical on Broadway, doesn't always work in film. The film is far from perfect, but at certain times is entertaining and with a lot of great songs, you will find yourself singing along.

Is it worth a trip to the cinema? Well Tom Cruise's performance most certainly is. and it will certainly get you schooled on some great rock songs, that this film actually does justice to!

Very enjoyable, entertaining but far from perfect!

Our Rating


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