Rock of Ages: Movie Review

"Rock of Ages" takes the liberty to change a lot of things compared to its Broadway brethren - some songs were cut, new ones were added and the story was altered to a fairy tale-like ending. While we can say that the changes were for the good, in reality much less can be said with how the film adaptation of "Rock of Ages" actually turns out to be. For a rock and roll musical, the film was surprisingly dragging at times and we couldn't find ourselves being "into" it until the latter parts were the pacing gets better. The complete lack of fun is shocking and even with all the glitz, the glamour and the songs cannot save the film from this truth.

In 1987, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) travels from Oklahoma to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a famous singer. After getting mugged, she meets Drew Boiley (Diego Boneta) and he finds a way to get her hired in the popular nightclub, The Bourbon Room where he also works. The club's owner, Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin), and his right-hand man, Lonny Barnett (Russell Brand) arrange for Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) to have his last performance at the Bourbon Room. Patricia Whitman (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the religious conservative wife of the mayor (Bryan Cranston), organizes her church to protest and stop Stacee Jaxx from performing. As Drew gets his chance to become famous by becoming the opening act on Stacee Jaxx, he finds himself torn between love and fame.

"Rock of Ages" fails to make any headway for its big screen adaptation because it certainly feels like a novelty watch more than anything else. You know the film performed badly when even the song and dance numbers sometimes fail to capture your attention. At fault here is mostly the director as the film lacks any proper pacing or plot development by concentrating on the lesser important parts (the first act specifically). The film gets better in its last quarter, though ironically, because it seems that it wanted to end the whole thing quickly and abruptly. Some characters are also completely forgotten like the mayor who only has a few quick scenes during the 2 hour run time. For a character that we thought had an important in the overall story arc, it's mind-boggling that he completely disappeared. It's not all bad for "Rock of Ages" though. The acting, the singing and the production were actually good most of the time and it had its moments were both comedy and music jived together for a remarkable experience. Our favorite is Alec Baldwin's and Russel Brand's take on REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling". That scene is what the whole "Rock of Ages" adaptation should have felt like from start to finish. Sadly, experiences like that are few and far between.

Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- well obviously, the song and dance numbers are definitely the reasons why you should watch this
- the film had numerous occasions were we couldn't stop laughing especially with Russell Brand's humor

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film feels like a bore at times - even with rock tunes blaring and dance numbers blazing
- some characters were under-utilized and completely forgotten

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