Film Review: Rock of Ages

Rock_of_Ages HeaderRock of Ages is a travesty of a musical whose jukebox musical numbers never even comes close to topping their original counterparts and I would deem at least 50% of the film unwatchable.

That 50% is basically any time Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta (who should murder the stylist on this film) are on screen.  They are both basically awful.  This isn’t entirely their fault, the script is atrocious, and Hough in particular is given an endless stream of lines that are either expository or description; literally telling us what just happened on the screen, it’s the majority of her dialogue.  Though we can’t blame the script for everything as this story of small town girl meets rocker wannabe boy is about as interesting as it sounds, not.  The two have no chemistry, yet fall madly in love with each other over a two day montage, and fall out of love just as fast after a misconception surrounding Stacie Jaxx.  I wonder if they get together in the end?

Tom Cruise’s Stacie Jaxx is the only saving grace in the film, but that is mostly due to Cruise’s charisma and presence which is infectious.  Cruise isn’t the lead here though and the gaps between him are more or less unbearable besides one sequence between Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin.  Those two are more or less wasted, Baldwin especially, as Brand is hired to be Brand and Baldwin is given nothing to do.  The film is actually a giant waste of talent as they have cast Bryan Cranston, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti and Will Forte and they give them next to nothing to do and Malin Akerman is nothing more than a sexual prop for Cruise to bounce off of; he sings to her private parts!  Stacie Jaxx’s baboon, Hey Man, gets more to do then all of them combined.

The film is directed by Adam Shankman, a choreographer, yet there seems to be very few instances of a grasp on how to capture music and dance on screen.  Actually, those hoping for some cool dance numbers in Rock of Ages will be extremely disappointed (unless you enjoy poll dancing) and the musical numbers mostly fall flat.  Two numbers do work quite well right in the middle, “I Wanna Rock” and “Wanted Dead or Alive”, but these don’t nearly make seeing the film worthwhile.  If you are a giant Tom Cruise fan I guess I could recommend seeing this for his performance, but it is by no means the best work he has done, just different.

I didn’t have high hopes for Rock of Ages, but I was baffled at how terrible it was.  A musical is supposed to be fun and exciting, not trite and soulless, which is basically what you are going to get with Rock of Ages.  I am sick of musical’s just rehashing pop songs and calling it a day like this does and not showing any interest in creating an interesting plot or well developed characters.  You can use existing pop songs and make an amazing movie, i.e. Moulin Rouge, but I haven’t seen anyone give us any sort of hope that they want to try and create something at that level since.  Avoid Rock of Ages like the plague, it might be more harmful.

Rock of Ages is an F

5 thoughts on “Film Review: Rock of Ages

  1. Besides Glee, Smash, and Across the Universe, there haven’t been a lot of musicals that “rehash” popular songs. And comparing it to an original work like Moulin Rouge is kind of a cop out. Yeah, Moulin Rouge was orignal, mainly because it wasn’t taking any sort of source material. Rock of Ages is a four year long Broadway musical that is just as cheeseball and overacted as the movie adaption. Actually, I enjoyed the renditions in the movie a bit more than the actual musical. Rock of Ages isn’t an A++ movie at all, but I wouldn’t call it an F either.

  2. Joyful Noise and Mamma Mia are two other recent examples.
    But, when half the movie is found unbearable by myself and nothing in that other half really elevates any thing, it wasn’t hard for me to get to an F.
    Plus, when you can’t connect with the music in a musical, never going to help one’s opinion.
    Also, comparing to Moulin Rouge I think is very fair game. That is a 5 set movie that seemed to be conceived, and could very easily be put, on broadway. I am pretty sure I would have thought Rock of Ages sucked on stage as well, there is no story to hold on to. There are zero likable characters.
    If I am looking for the exits 20 minutes into the movie, I can’t imagine I am going to view it favorably.
    Another F coming next week as well!

  3. Does Smash rehash? I think a lot of the music was original stuff, but don’t quote me on that cuz I only actually watched the first couple episodes.

    And I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about Rock of Ages sucking on stage as well. I wasn’t a fan of the movie version of Mamma Mia, but the stage performance was one of my favorite musicals I’ve seen live. Granted it had a lot to do with how cool the set was, but everything about it was fun.

  4. Not writing it off, just know I need a story to suck me in to Broadway play. Second half of Wicked and all of Cats suck for this reason. Spring Awakening is great because of its story.

  5. This Review is point blank DEAD ON! The Movie was absolute GARBAGE! Literally… this movie is the absolute definition of Dog shit… I actually walked out approximately….mmmmm 18 minutes into the film…. asked for a refund…. but the stupid ticket guy said “we can’t give you your money back but you can get a free ticket to another film”.. So I just watched Prometheus instead.

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