Maybe you love musical films and you've seen every one of them that has ever been made. Maybe you're a fan of 80's music and you wanna reminisce. Maybe Tom Cruise playing a rock star is a compellingly curious thing. Whatever your reason is, Rock of Ages, based on the 2006 Broadway jukebox musical of the same name, is on your must-see list.
So, what to expect?
|Romance is brewing between two music lovers.|
Essentially, the movie is about young love in the midst of a Rock 'n' Roll Era-- but sidetracked by many subplots. With a central story similar to 2010's Burlesque (Christina Aguilera), Rock of Ages is about Sherrie (Julianne Hough), a small-town girl and aspiring singer who arrives in LA and gets a job waitressing at The Bourbon, the most famous nightclub on the strip, with the help of barback Drew (Diego Boneta), who shares her dreams of rock 'n' roll fame. The Bourbon, however, has some problems-- not only is it facing foreclosure due to unpaid taxes, but it's also the object of obsession of the mayor's ultra conservative and intensely anti-rock 'n' roll wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Bourbon owner Dennis (Baldwin) relies on rock n' roll god Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) for a sold-out show to save the club from closing down. Will he succeed? And will Sherrie and Drew live happily ever after and their dreams of becoming famous come true?
|She certainly has some issues.|
Directed by Adam Shankman, Rock of Ages, which aims to be a fun, nostalgic movie, feels like a cross between High School Musical and Saturday Night Live-- with Glee-like musical numbers. The pubescent and predictable love story played by virtually unknown actors--Hough and Boneta--gives it a Disney TV-musical vibe, and the Hollywood A-listers surrounding them belting out 80's songs give off an unsettling sense of SNL parody.
Tom Cruise, with much relief and amusement, is passable as a rock star. No complete transformation here-- just a funny, odd role that he has managed to pull off just fine and engagingly. Zeta-Jones is winsome as the ridiculously intense evangelist-like antagonist, humorous in her blazing eyes and wildly passionate anti-rock 'n' roll sentiments that you'd wish she had more scenes and dialogue. The rest are blah.
Rock of Ages is colorful and glitzy; sometimes funny but never hilarious. It's trying too hard to provide high-energy entertainment but it just lacks the fervor, the passion that comes with rock 'n' roll...no delicious and fresh take on the familiar 80's songs. It's too...contrived. Showy but empty, like a lip-sinc-y Glee, with a mediocre, thin narrative and shallow characters.
Rock of Ages is not the worst musical film ever made, probably not; it is, in fact, watchable, listenable, and tolerable. But totally forgettable. it just doesn't feel like an event. No significant musical experience here. And despite 80's hits in the film from Def Leppard, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and others, Rock of Ages, unfortunately, was unable to revive the rock 'n' roll spirit.
2 out of 5 stars
In Philippine theaters June 13, 2012