Bill C’s Review – 2.5 out of 5
Rock of Ages is the movie adaptation of the semi-successful Broadway musical. Set in 1987, this is the story of the romance between a small town girl and a city boy as they try to achieve their musical dreams in Hollywood. It’s also the story of the fight to save rock and roll from the powerful old farts who try to ban this evil scourge. This is where the film started to lose me, as it takes place a couple of years after the making of Footloose – a movie set in the late 50s or early 60s about the fight to save rock and roll from the powerful old farts in power trying to ban this evil scourge. Weren’t we past that in 1987, especially in L.A.?
I have not seen the stage show but my guess is the dancing and energy are better live (although I assume they did not have the monkey – and he/she was excellent!). I’m not a dance man but I didn’t think the choreography was all that great. Some of the numbers just seemed weird to me – for example the one with Catherine Zeta-Jones in the church. But the music was good and helped to keep the movie moving.
Rock of Ages had a good cast, but most of the big names were in supporting roles and weren’t fully utilized. This included Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Bryan Cranston (speaking of which, I need to finish season 3 and 4 of Breaking Bad before season 5 starts!) and Tom Cruise. Cruise had the biggest supporting role as the aging Rock God, but it was a pretty one-dimensional role. I will give him credit for looking like a Rock God in his concert scenes. The two younger leads were OK but nothing great.
I didn’t have high expectations for this movie, but was curious about Cruise and his role. Bottom line – unless you’re really into musicals and or 80s music, you can probably skip this one.