Rock of Ages, a comedy based off the Broadway musical of the same name, is all about big hair and rock and roll. Those folks nostalgic for the ‘80s will likely get a kick out of the action. However, with the exception of a couple of good cover songs and a few funny scenes, the translation from stage to screen may leave audiences with a less-than-memorable movie experience. Rock of Ages begins when Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough), a small-town girl comes to Hollywood to find her fame and fortune as a singer. Of course, she forgets all of that when she lands a job at a rock bar called The Bourbon and meets a guy, Drew Boley (Diego Boneta). About those cover songs, they’re fun. The sets and costumes, which are super ‘80s (right down to the classic boy band get ups) also work well. The acting in this movie is what you would expect, nothing too great but that’s not so much the actors’ fault as it is the shallow, one-track-mind characters. Paul Giamatti does well as the slimy music agent, and Cruise is funny as crazy rock god Stacee Jaxx, but it’s not the best role for either. And although Cruise wears some outrageous clothes, his outfits never include a shirt — whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you. By the end of the movie what audiences will remember are the funny things that happened with Tom Cruise playing a rock star and the laughable scenes between Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin as the guys running The Bourbon. It’s a shame the story of Rock of Ages gets put aside, along with any depth of character, so that each character can fit well into the musical line-up. Speaking of that lost plot, there’s a part in the movie where the bar is going to be taken down by some political candidate and his wife (played by Bryan Cranston and Catherine Zeta-Jones), but right when they have something to shut them down with, they kind of drop it and never talk about it again — until they go back to picketing to set up for the next musical number. If you’re feeling some strong nostalgia for the hard rock of the ‘80s, Rock of Ages definitely has some good covers, plus Cruise sings, so that’s interesting in itself. Overall what you see is what you get — it’s just another summer movie. If you’re truly a child of the ‘80s, you might be better off getting a ticket to the Broadway show.
Kyle Dowling is an employee of M3 Group and is pursuing a writing degree at LCC. He enjoys fiction writing, video games and movies.