Rock of Ages doesn’t hold back on star power. With an amazing cast, you can’t help but feel like you’re watching an all-star episode of Glee. The music is great (Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, and more…), but the story which lays over the catchy tunes isn’t anything special.
Rock of Ages tells the story of a small town girl (living in a lonely world…) named Sherrie (Julianne Hough) who moves to Hollywood with hopes of fame. She meets city boy Drew (Diego Boneta) on the famous Sunset Strip right after she’s had her entire record collection stolen. But Tinseltown hasn’t lost it’s appeal just yet. Together, Sherrie and Drew pursue their dreams of rock ‘n’ roll starting with the legendary Bourbon Room. The venue that rock god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) got his start.
Alex Baldwin plays the owner of The Bourbon Room and his handy side-kick/”un-expected” friend is played by Russell Brand. The scenes with these two make it clear that the film is not trying to take itself seriously. It just wants to have fun and entertain you, and that’s exactly what these two do. Especially Brand, who is undoubtedly bringing some of his own improv to the table.
Tom Cruise who plays Stacee Jaxx sells the rock god persona without even trying. He’s perfect for the role, and single-handily makes you feel like you didn’t waste your time in seeing the film. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the uptight mayor’s wife, Patricia, who secretly hooked up with Stacee back in the day. It didn’t turn out so well, so Patricia became anti-rock. Her character doesn’t add much to the movie other than leading the opposite to rock ‘n’ roll – which never seems to be an actual threat in the film.
It’s the supporting cast that really makes this film though. The leads, Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta, attractive though they are, just don’t bring anything truly special to the film, but I don’t think they’re supposed to… As odd as that sounds. The film only succeeds when it’s embracing it’s own silliness. Serious scenes between the two leads seem long and boring as the audience aches to get back to a film that makes fun of itself. At the film’s core, it’s just a spoof of 80’s rock culture, and who doesn’t love that? Give us more absurd scenes with Stacee Jaxx!
Don’t expect a great movie here, but do expect to be entertained. I think the same could be said about the 80’s decade as a whole, and in that respect, Rock Of Ages captured it perfectly.
Review: Emma Loggins