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Rock Of Ages - movie review
Release date: 13 June 2012
Director: Adam Shankman
Starring: Russell Brand, Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough
What's the story?
Newly arrived on LA's fabled Sunset Strip, midwest wannabe Sherrie (Hough) finds herself waiting tables at a music venue preparing to stage a concert by hot act Stacee Jaxx (Cruise).
What did we think?
Cruise's tattoo-sporting, Bon Jovi-singing rock star steals the show in a musical filled with outrageous turns, head-banging anthems and heinous crimes against fashion. Yet the film isn't as much fun as it thinks it is and ends up outstaying its welcome towards the end of an indulgent two-hour running time.
Mamma Mia showed you can make a hit movie musical out of anything provided you have songs everyone knows and big stars prepared to sing them. Rock of Ages tries to repeat the trick, this time with '80s music instead of Abba and Tom Cruise in place of Meryl Streep.
What works fine on stage, though, has a tougher time of it on screen, thanks in part to a script that doesn't know whose story it wants to tell. At the beginning, it seems as if we're meant to be following Sherrie and Drew (Diego Boneta), two wannabes keen to make their mark in Hollywood.
But it doesn't take long for the film to be sidetracked - not just by Cruise's Axl Rose-style headcase and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a censorious mayor's wife eager to rid the City of Angels of rock's pernicious influence, but also by Russell Brand as a madcap hair metal devotee who winds up snogging Alec Baldwin's over-the-hill club owner.
With a soundtrack packed with familiar numbers by Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey and Poison, we're never far from a karaoke moment. At the end of two hours, though, you can't fight the feeling Ages should have rocked more.
Verdict: Feel the Noize