Movie Review: Rock of Ages 06/18/2012
Oh, Rock of Ages: where to begin…
I suppose I could use the meets metaphor: Glee meets Grease meets Almost Famous. But that would be way too generous.
Unfortunately, Rock of Ages is just plain horrible.
I so wanted to like it. I tried really hard to like it. After all, Tom Cruise puts up another one of his famous character performances — similar to the dark motivational speaker in Magnolia and the over the top Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. As Stacey Jaxx, however, he just falls flat. The strategically placed tattoos and obvious side view camera angles were not enough to mask his middle age torso, which for me distracted from the entire persona. His slow talking dialogue designed to make him seem intense was so interspersed with Foley effects of leather crunching it resulted in yet another obvious attempt at cheap shenanigans designed to draw us in. The whole package just didn’t work, and it ended up being a bad imitation of the 80s rockers we know and love(d).
And Cruise was the highlight.
Before you tune out this review completely, let me just say Rock of Ages — which was written incidentally by Jennifer Anniston’s new boyfriend Justin Theroux — comes off as nothing more than a breakout vehicle for Ryan Seacrest’s main squeeze Julianne Hough. It delivers nothing more than one cliché after another, in a poorly executed attempt to be so bad it’s good. Only it never comes full circle. It’s the first movie since Dude, Where’s my Car? that I’ve actually considered walking out on. Audiences seem to agree: Rock of Ages cost $65 million to produce but fell flat with an abysmal performance of $15 million on its opening weekend.
If you want to reminisce about the music of the 80s do yourself a favor and stay home and fire up Pandora. Don’t stop believing in those great 80s anthems by witnessing their banal insertion into a cliché context of a story. Are we seriously supposed to find a romance between Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand believable, much less humorous? The only believable component of Rock of Ages is how challenging it is to be one of thousands of homecoming kings and queens that get off the bus every day in L.A. with nothing more than a picture of grandma and a bundle of dreams and pennies. The rest of it is a silly, boring rehash of stories you’ve heard before, framed by songs you’ve heard before, and sung by actors who don’t really sing.
Stay home and save your cash for some of the better films coming your way this summer.
Listen to Lori live every Thursday on The Voice of Ocala at www.woca.com.
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