Wednesday, 13 June 2012
REVIEW: ROCK OF AGES
Just a big time film.
123 Minutes. Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige, Malin Åkerman, Alec Baldwin & Tom Cruise Director: Adam Shankman. Screenplay: Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo & Allan Loeb
So I'm an eighties baby. You know the kid of guy that's still young-ish but old enough to be talking about how they just don't make music (or movies) like they used to. The kind of guy who grew up being brought up on the records his parents listened to. A culturally educating attempt by them for me to get some taste and not end up liking something like...I don't know, say rap. So you know a film about eighties music is going to rock, but enough of the cliches. 'Rock Of Ages' is just a great film and the best entertainment you'll see and amount of fun you'll have all year.
Going decades back to the golden era where Bon Jovi where cool and Aerosmith still looked old...but not as old as they look now. This film based on the hit musical is also a hit musical in its own right. Far from the odd 'Family Guy' moments where Brian and Stewie break into song this is a film that bursts into numbers that where made for the biggest of stadiums sellers. From Foreigner to Europe this is one cinematic experience that will rock you more than IMAX and 3D.
Following the huge hit that was 'Hairspray' (a film that began with me questioning my sexuality to watch it and ended with me almost dancing in the aisle) this film scores big too. Sure it may not have the charm, John Travolta cross-dressing or Chrisopher Walken dancing but it still has more energy and enthusiasm any rags to riches, rock star mirroring story has had in years.
You know a Los Angeles (this city was built on...well you know) era rock based film like this is going to feature a guest-list of Hollywood rock and roll royalty. Still this type of movie wouldn't be anything without making two new stars and the crossed lovers of small town girl Julianne Hough and city boy Diego Boneta have just made their walk of fame on Hollywood here. The stars of the street however make this ensemble piece as studded as a Guns N Roses leather jacket with some great riffing too.
Together Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin keep this party going, playing so well off each other. While Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bryan Cranston stand in the way so perfectly like disappointing parents. The ever versatile and great Paul Giamatti plays a sickly, oily slick manager perfectly to the point of his eighties mobile phones cord. While Malin Åkerman and singer Mary J. Blige add more high notes too.
Still it's Tom Cruise's portrayal of fictional rock god Stacee Jaxx that holds the biggest stage and almost steals the show. Apart from some literal and disgusting tongue lashing (hey, he is a rock star after all) Cruise stagger walks the walk and slur talks the talk perfectly. Either revealing his biggest fantasy or showing what a second career he could of had, the all singing (not bad, not bad at all (in fact classic, perfect eighties)) and all drinking Cruise is in control complete with cod-piece. Just like in 'Tropic Thunder' when he shows how to not treat himself seriously this man rocks.
Anyway you want it this journey is the perfect period piece for the new ages. Funny, heart-warming and with a make and break inspiration, this film is one Rob Schnieder away from telling us 'you can do it'. Sure it's corny and cheesy but it takes us back to a time where that sort of stuff was cool and courageous. There's nothing quite like the good ole days and 'Rock Of Ages' keeps the good times rollin'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.