Movie Review: Rock of Ages

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a new musical.  I enjoy musicals for the most part.  The last one I saw at the theaters that really stood out to me was a film called “Across The Universe” which used only Beatles music.  So this one, which focuses on Rock N’ Roll from the 1980’s had my attention, it’s called “Rock of Ages” and takes place in Hollywood in 1987.  Growing up I listened more to music from the 1960’s, so I was not sure how much I was going to get into this film, going in I did not even know the plot of the film.

Rock of Ages has four main plots going on, each tied very close to the other.  One is about a girl who just came to Hollywood, to try and make it big.  She meets a bartender who helps her get a job and they fall in love.  Though something happens which causes them to go their own ways for a bit.  The next is about a club, which is big and has helped stars make their names.  Though the club is going under, behind in taxes.  So they’re trying to raise the money to pay off the taxes.  This is the same place the boy helped his new girlfriend get a job at.  The third story is of a Rock Star who’s done it all and is going Solo now.  He got his start at this club, and returns to do his last show with his group in meeting someone who helps inspire him.  And lastly is the people trying to get the Club torn down, the Mayor’s wife thinks if they close this club down it’ll help start cleaning up Hollywood.

Just like most musicals, the characters break into song and those around them join in.  Be it on the streets, a bus, and even a store.  The music in the show is twisted from their original sounds and even mixing songs, to give their own new feel for the show.  Though each one keeps a hint of where it originally came from as well some I could really get down with, others were lost to me.  One song I really like was in the film called “Old Time Rock N’ Roll”, I’ve always loved that song.  So I while I was happy it was used in the film, I was disappointed it got mixed in with another song.

Here is the beginning of the clip that “Old Time Rock N’ Roll” was mixed in with:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSjd36G0HI0[/youtube]

The first of the storyline is based around the characters Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) and Drew Boley (Diego Boneta).  Sherrie is a dreamer, who wants to sing she came to Hollywood with a goal in mind.  Though bumps into some bad luck right away, when Drew comes out to make sure everything is ok.  He finds out what’s going on and offers her a job.  He too wants to get into music, but right now he’s just a bartender.  The two of them get close and when Drew gets over his stage fright he takes the stage at the club he works at catching the eye of a manager who was there for the Rock Star that Drew was opening for.  This is around the time that a misunderstanding gets the two to break up and take their own roads.

Here is Drew on stage for his first time, Sherrie races out to see his performance.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3sTmAXB1hs[/youtube]

I think this storyline was done well, as both characters played their parts very good.  Though I’m not into romance, I am into people trying to achieve their dreams.  So I could relate to both of them on taking those chances and going out into the world.  Though my favorite scene with the two of these characters comes after their break up, when the two meet up later in the movie for their first time.  As they tell each other what they have been up too during their time away.  It is a bittersweet scene, but has a great comedy line in there.  Esp since both of them got into places they did not want to be.

The second storyline is my favorite of the story lines.  As the club is in danger of closing down, the owner and one of his main employees  are followed through the film as they’re trying to find out how to keep it open.  The owner is Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and his employee is Lonny (Russell Brand).  The club that Dennis owns is the Bourbon Room, and he has run this place for a long time.  He does not want to see it fall.  The character interaction between these two are great through the full film. They brought comedy and life to the movie and really made the film for me.  Each time they were on the screen, even when they were down about something the scene was delivered well.

The Third storyline is based around Stacee Jaxx, well known actor Tom Cruise is playing this rock star.  He’s with his group Arsenal, though is going Solo and this is last time with the group.  To cover this big news his manager Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti), brings in Rolling Stones magazine introducing the reporter Constance Sack (Malin Akerman) to Stacee Jaxx.  This reporter confronts Stacee for his life style.  Getting him to think things over.

Here’s an interview with Malin Akerman about the movie:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLrsO7OKY6I [/youtube]

I personally like this story line more than I thought I would.  I’m not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, though he did a great job with this character.  I liked the monkey sidekick, Hey Man (Mickey), and I found it funny that one of his bodyguards was Kevin Nash.  For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans, Kevin was Super Shredder in TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze.  Stacee’s personality is one you can grow to respect.

Here’s an interview with Tom Cruise about this film:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDTKd7p8bCI[/youtube]

The last story line is the one I didn’t really fall into too much.  Though really it’s not the highlight of the film, it’s the source of trouble.  The Mayor and his wife, the Mayor could care less.  It’s his wife who’s the trouble.  Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones), was out to take down Rock N’ Roll.  She’s got a few songs in the movie and has her reasons for what she’s doing.  Though her storyline felt weak to me as I wasn’t into it.  There was already so much other stuff going on in the film.

Overall I enjoyed the film.  I recommend this movie if you like Rock N Roll, if you like stories of people out to achieve their dreams, and if you’re a fan of musicals.

Check out a making videos here:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ2bqUSAQhA[/youtube]

The Trailer:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxVQhgySG74[/youtube]

Have you seen this movie?  Do you want to see this movie?  Please share your reviews, comments and questions below!

Entertainment Earth