I Love Rock and Roll!
If you've grown up in the 80s and 90s, then you'd probably be able to identify most, if not all of the songs featured in Rock of Ages, unless Rock music isn't your cup of tea. Directed by Adam Shankman who was at the helm for Hairspray, also another musical brought to the silver screen, Rock of Ages will probably be remembered down the road for one thing - Tom Cruise hamming it up as a rock god.
As Stacee Jaxx, Cruise ran away with the film despite his limited screen time, and not being part of the main narrative involving small town girl Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) meeting big city boy Drew Boley (Diego Boneta), a romance that is average at best, not because they didn't try and had one of the best voices in this ensemble, but because Cruise's character has charisma that just alienated the rest each time he's on screen. As a burnt out rocker looking for that spark of inspiration to regain what he does best, his less than sober turn brings on the laughs, and probably only Cruise's Les Grossman persona can outdo what he had done with Jaxx.
Otherwise, the story almost played out like Footloose, where instead of having dancing being demonized, we have rock music being hissed upon by the conservatives led by the Mayor's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who harbours a secret that you can see coming a mile away. Then there's Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand's characters Dennis and Lonny, who owns the bar and helps run it respectively, being caught up with being swindled by Jaxx's shady manager Paul (Paul Giamatti), and having unpaid taxes that threaten to close their renowned Bourbon Room bar, the launch pad of many famed rockers who were given a chance to showcase their abilities.
The songs are of course, top drawer stuff, although the ensemble's cast delivery is mixed at best, some having what it takes to sing, while others best stick to their day jobs. Still, as far as I'm concerned, Rock of Ages is Stacee Jaxx at his best even if the character is in the doldrums. Rock never did die, some say, and this is testament to that. Rock on!
You can read my review of Rock of Ages at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.