Rock of Ages directed by Alan Shankman, is a 2012 musical based on the hit broadway play of the same name. I will try to make this as unbiased as possible, but I do love musicals.
In order to truly love and enjoy musicals, you need to be willing to suspend some of our 21st century skepticism. Musicals (for the most part) are light, fun, and romantic. Rock of Ages was all these things. It also requires another thing to remember: the 80’s was excess. The 80’s didn’t have cynicism or sarcasm. Things were lighter then guys!
- I could have done without the two young leads. Why did they get top billing? Am I supposed to know who they are. Actually I did know who he was, but only because I spent a painful six hours in SeaWorld in 2010, where he was and all these latin people were freaking out. He practically followed us from exhibit to exhibit.
- Be less angry Catherine Zeta-Jones. Also, pay attention to your husband, Cranston is sleeping with your secretary.
- Plot holes? Yes. But nothing that will keep me awake at night.
- I’m really not sure why Mary J Blige was even in this? You could have totally cut her character and never have known what was missing.
The Best Thing I have ever seen: Jacee Staxx. Tom Cruise. Brilliant. I’m a sucker for when a “serious” or “rigid” actor can do a completely different role. What was great about Cruise’s performance is that he made me forget he was Tom Cruise. Despite some directing issues, Cruise shined. That first shot of him? I nearly died. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but how they got Tom Cruise to do that, I’ll never know.
Take A Step Back Sir: Shankman is known for directing movies like Hairspray, The Wedding Planner, A Walk to Remember. Okay, he’s a seasoned directed. I knew we were in trouble when the last part of the title sequence stated “Directed by: Alan Shankman”. Let’s be honest, no one is seeing this because of who directed it. He’s not Spielberg, Cameron, Peter Jackson (the list could go on and on). Four and a half of the actors were able to shine despite a glaring amount of over direction. Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russel Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Malin Akerman. The rest pulled all the “obvious” acting moves. You could tell the Hough had no brain in her head, and that facial expressions she was giving us had been beaten into her, probably by the director.
Best Chemistry: Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand.
The 80’s: This movie feels actually like the 80’s, not how we imagine the 80’s to have been like.
Verdict: We take ourselves to seriously nowadays.
If you like cheesy and gross, and can suspend your inner cynic for two hours. Do it. If you can’t, I’d rather not hear about how much you hate it.