Movie Review: ‘Rock of Ages’

rock-of-ages-posterAs a huge fan of musical theater (or should I say, theatre), I was extremely excited to see Rock of Ages. I saw the Broadway production with the original cast, loved it and thought that the transfer to film would be pretty perfect.

When Director Adam Shankman (Hairspray) assembled stars Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones, I figured they were going for broke because the .

But then I saw the movie.

Man, what a letdown.

If you don’t know the story, Ages is about (you can sing this to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’) a small-town girl, living in a lonely world. She took the midnight bus going to L-Ah-Ay. (Stop singing now). Said girl, Sherrie (Julianne Hough) has dreams of becoming a singer. She meets boy, Drew (Diego Boneta), who has dreams of becoming a singer himself. Boy gets girl a job in the hottest rock club in 80’s LA and the two quickly become an item. When the biggest rocker of all, Stacee Jaxx (Cruise), decides to begin his solo career at the club, all hell breaks loose.

Shankman has successfully turned a hit musical comedy that was lively and fun into a slow moving slog. The film as a whole feels slightly off; when the cast isn’t singing their hearts out, the dialogue scenes are slow and awkward and the pacing just isn’t right. There were some moments where the director had the actors pause so long in between lines that I could have gone to the concession stand, bought some popcorn and sat back down in my seat before they started talking again.

The film is just flat, doesn’t pop like a musical should (like a musical with all of this talent should) and it’s such a shame. Most of the scenes don’t flow and at times, when the actors break out in song, the transition is completely awkward. I actually felt embarrassed for Zeta-Jones at the beginning of some of her songs.

That being said, I’m (gulp) torn. With wonderfully terrific performances from Cruise and Baldwin and the actual songs themselves, I left the theater… liking it.

Cruise is so fantastic as aging rock star Stacee Jaxx that he single-handedly straps the movie onto his tattooed back and almost dares you not to like it. He’s never been better here and you leave the theater wishing the movie were actually about him instead the two leads.

That’s not to say Hough isn’t good, she is. But acting alongside Boneta isn’t doing her any favors. He doesn’t bring anything to the role except wide-eyed enthusiasm and that grows old fast. There are 10 people who could have done more with the part than he did.

Baldwin and Russell Brand chew up their scenes as, uh, partners, at the rock club and provide some much needed laughs whenever Cruise is off-screen. And in a blink and you’ll miss him moment, the filmmakers threw Constantine Maroulis, who won a Tony Award for his role as Drew, a bone with one quick line in a group song. Get a Tony, sing one line in the movie.

If you’re a fan of the 80’s or a musical theater junkie, then by all means check this out, you’ll have at least a mildly fun time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sir-ben-kingsley-talks-about-the.jpg
Sir Ben Kingsley Talks about the Unique Way He Voiced His Character in the Animated Film, ‘The Boxtrolls’ (video)
I could listen to Sir Ben Kingsley talk about acting and.. well, I could listen to him talk about anything. He’s starring in the new Laika stop-motion animated film, The Boxtrolls, and he and some of the cast (along with the director) joined in on a Comic-Con panel about the film. The Boxtrolls is about [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bill-hader.jpg
Bill Hader: “I kind of fell into acting” (video)
Bill Hader, starring in the soon to be released The Skeleton Twins, talks about the film and how he fell into acting and then got “crazy lucky” in this quick video from USA Today.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/director-john-carney-narrates-a.jpg
Director John Carney Narrates a Scene from ‘Begin Again’ Starring Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo
Director John Carney (Once) narrates a scene from his new film, Begin Again. Starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, the scene shows the first time the two characters meet. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard it’s great.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/holler-if-you-hear-me-gma.jpg
Watch the Cast of Broadway’s ‘Holler If You Hear Me’ Perform ‘California Love’ on GMA
The cast of Broadway’s newest musical, Holler If You Hear Me with music from Tupac Shakur, performed on Good Morning America this morning. Singing ‘California Love’, the cast (including the teriffic Christopher Jackson – read our interview here), show why they’re the most energetic and inspiring group of actors on Broadway. Holler If Ya Hear [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/behind-the-scenes-of-dawn-of-the.jpg
Behind the Scenes of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ with Performance Capture Actor Terry Notary
Actor Terry Notary is 1 of 5 actors playing the apes in the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “When you see armies of apes,” he says, that’s “five of us.” Check out the video where you can watch his performance capture work.