ROCK OF AGES (2012)
DIRECTOR: Adam Shankman
STARRING: Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Ackerman, Mary J Blige
ROCK OF AGES is your typical love story, where “a small town girl, living in a lonely world” moves to the big city to make her dreams come true. In this case, she wants to be a singer. Now those in the back groaning, I know that the recent film Burlesque had the same theme. Before you switch off, stay with me on this, Ok?
Our little town girl gets royally kicked in the butt just as she steps of the bus, when she is mugged. Yes Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore. Thankfully our “city boy” comes to her rescue and although he doesn’t stop the mugger, he helps her get a job in the local music club, The Bourbon Room.
Now you are asking yourself, “Why isn’t Gemma mentioning the names of our two leads?” To be honest, as I have said it’s the same story done a million times before. This time it’s set in the 80’s, the height of the 80′s Heavy Rock era. Bands like Def Leopard, ACDC, Bon Jovi and Guns ‘n’ Roses were the rock gods of the time.
We know the story inside out. We know the path it is going to take before we even set foot into the cinema. Boy and Girl meet. Boy and Girl fall in love. Boy and Girl break up over some misunderstanding. Boy and Girl live separate lives, but know they miss each other. Boy and Girl get back together. Insert any name and you have any story.
So, there are three reasons why I loved this film.
- The Music – I am a rock chick. I love music with drums and kicking riffs. Look in my iPod and you will see most of the bands mentioned above, along with the newer bands that have been inspired by them. You can’t help but mouthing along to the words and tapping your feet.
- Tom Cruise – For some reason, self-absorbed rock god is not a role you could see Tom Cruise in. He is too clean cut. Too much of the All-American good guy, yet every time he was on that screen he owned it. When he swaggered across it, he was Stacey Jaxx, lead singer of the rock band Arsenal. I’m not a Tom Cruise fan, but I can’t deny he threw himself into this role. In this film he is an 80’s rock god.
- Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin – If you can overlook Brand’s dodgy Brummy accent, then you will be able to see what I did. Baldwin and Brand’s bromance on screen is hilarious. Baldwin is a down on his luck club owner called Dennis Dupree, and Brand is his long time second in command Lonny, both providing much needed comic relief. The montage of how Lonny came to work for Dupree is just hilarious.
Overall this is a great feel good movie. There isn’t anything really new or innovative, but it’s a good piece of escapism. The director has a good grasp on how to transfer a broadway musical to the big screen, which he also did successfully before with Hairspray.
The pace moves quickly and you never look at the time. You are too busy laughing at the antics of Brand, Baldwin and Cruise or tapping along to the music. In my case, I was trying to place who sung the original songs with a few of them.
This film is the perfect antidote to all the doom and gloom that is going on the world. For a little pick me up, go see it.