Opening in theatres this Friday from director Adam Shankman and Warner Bros. comes a film based on the Broadway play that makes you sing, want to dance and all because its “Rock of Ages”.
This film tells the story of Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough), a small town girl who finds her way to the L.A. 1987 big city with even bigger dreams. Straight off the bus she meets Drew Boley (Diego Boneta), a singer who works as the famous Hollywood’s The Bourbon Room.
Owned by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) there is a problem when a tax bill comes due and there is a possibility of the bar shutting down. Lonny (Russell Brand) also keeps tabs on Mayor Mike Whitemore (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Patricia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who are on a campaign to shut him down.
Then there is Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) the drunken monkey-man rock star that has believed his own press to the point of craziness. His manager Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti) books Jaxx to The Bourbon Room to make a buck. But even Jaxx has a life changer when he meets Constance Sack (Malin Akerman).
All the stories are rocking together bringing it to a finale that is toe tapping and heart pounding because, after all, LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!
FINAL WORD: Oh my goodness! Although I was looking forward to see the film, I really truly enjoyed every aspect of it. From the performances to music there isn’t anything to complain about.
Hough and Boneta play off each other’s character very well and there musical talent is obvious. There is a sweetness that could have been too sugary and does walk the line of it but hey – that’s the 80’s for you!
Baldwin and Brand are funny, sweet, full of one-liners, and although they don’t have the best voices in the world it doesn’t stop the fun from continuing. Each of them put their best voice forward and just adds to the campy of the film.
Giamatti as the manager Paul is such a versatile actor. He has the ability to be sweet and the average guy trying to live a good life like in “Win Win” and then there’s the sleazy, money-grubbing wisecrack like this character. He can do either and do it with style and this role is no surprise as to what Giamatti can do.
Cranston as the sleazy Mayor and Zeta-Jones as his repressed banner-waving wife are hilarious. Cranston seems mainly to be going for the ride, which is fine because it works. Zeta-Jones gets to have some fun as the banner against scum waving wife with secret agenda of her own.
The shocker, which it shouldn’t be, is Cruise himself. As Stacee Jaxx I absolutely love him in this role! He spends 90% of his time shirtless and in a stupor but he does it in such a way that I wanted to see more of him. Taking on the challenging of singing songs from Bon Jovi might have scared away another actor, but not Cruise. Although he has a few years where the press basically put him through the ringer, with roles such as Les Grossman in “Tropic Thunder” and now Stacee Jaxx in “Rock of Ages” – Cruise is not going away anytime soon!
With the music of Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Pat Benatar, White Snake, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Joan Jett, Warrant, Quarterflash, Poison and Twisted Sister there isn’t a tune the audience doesn’t or won’t end up singing too! The film is based on the Broadway hit of the same name that premiered in Los Angeles in 2005 moving to Broadway in 2009.
Other cast include: Erica Frene as Beth, James Martin Kelly as Doug Flintlock, Angelo Valderrama as Chico, Will Forte as Mitch Miley and Mary J. Blige as Justice Charlier.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ROCK OF AGES four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five – why? – because I can that’s why. I went to this film thinking I would basically just watch and see and I came out feeling pretty darn good. There was music, dancing, laughing, music, singing (yes, even me!).
The cast works together seamlessly and there is something in this film that doesn’t require work in having a good time. Take friends who remember the era and can look back and laugh at the high hair, the outrageous clothes, the polyester but most of all, the music!
In the end – bring your dreams and find your passion!