Film Review: “Rock Of Ages”
Ok, being very much an 80’s child, I’d been looking forward to this movie ever since I’d read the press release some months back. I’m not usually one for musicals, but with a rock soundtrack such as the one this film sports, I felt it impossible to pass up.
So, along with my wife and daughter, an outing to the cinema was planned. Honestly, the film wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. That said though, I’m not entirely sure what I WAS expecting, so that’s no big thing. I guess I thought it was going to be a cross between High School Musical and that well known TV program GLEE. I’m pleased to say, that it wasn’t.
Admittedly, there was definitely a thick layer of cheese over many parts of the film, but in my opinion, that only adds to it’s appeal. There were some genuine laugh out loud moments too. The cast was very strong, and each of the characters were portrayed as “larger than life” and I was genuinely surprised at the vocal talents of several cast members.
The film is set in 1987, and casting Tom Cruise as “Rock God” Staycee Jaxx was an inspired choice. He portrays the troubled, difficult, rock diva to a tee. Getting drunk, turning up late for gigs, making ridiculous demands. Honestly, Cruise’s character could have been moulded on any eccentric rock star from that time period, and I’m sure that everyone will ‘know’ someone like that. I started to cringe as the opening bars of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted, Dead Or Alive” played, but honestly, Mr Cruise more than did it justice.
The film it’s self centres around the story of a “Small Town Girl” who moves to Hollywood to follow her dreams. She soon finds out that Hollywood isn’t all glitz and glam like in ‘the movies’ but she meets a boy, and well, you can probably guess the rest. As a film, it’s very much a cliché and without the songs, it would be “just another movie” but the sound track lifts it head and shoulders above the rest.
The songs featured in the movie read like a “greatest hits of the 80’s” with songs from Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Poison, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Pat Benatar, Starship, Foreigner, et al. Plus of course that very little known tune by Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing” which is the film’s tag line.
All in all, the film is nothing but a love story, with a few other characters thrown in. From the “evil” band manager, out to make as much money as he can, to the owner of the struggling rock bar, who just wants people to have a good time. The way it’s done though, is very good indeed. I’ve watched many musicals, and found myself getting bored quite quickly, but this film held my attention from start to finish. Whether that’s down to the great songs, or the fact that I was raised on rock, and have come across many of these ‘characters’ either in print, or on the tv, and some even in real life.
As a rock music fan, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife, who isn’t so much a fan of rock music really enjoyed it, and my daughter, who wasn’t even born when these songs were around, loved it too. That should give you some idea of the broad appeal of this film. Anyone that goes to see it, can take something different from it. There are memorable performances from all involved, and some cameo appearances of other rock stars too (see if you can spot them all).
To sum everything up, this film was a whole lot of fun, from start to finish, with plenty of music to tap your foot to, or bang your head if you’re so inclined. It’s funny, heart warming, and extremely entertaining. You don’t have to be a fan of rock music to enjoy it either, but of course it helps a great deal if you are. Personally though, I absolutely loved it, and it’s well worth a couple of hours of your time, and I challenge you not to walk out of the cinema with a big grin on your face …