Rock of Ages is so indescribably tedious and rubbish, I can’t be bothered to write a full review (it was all I could do to stay in my seat). Instead I’ll just list the reasons why this pile of crap should be avoided like the plague:
1. Musicals are well-known for their familiar plots (boy meets girl, they fall in love, trouble ensues, they get back together) but Rock of Ages is so familiar it feels like you wrote it yourself. It’s formulaic to the point of inanity. Did someone write this using the ‘Your First Musical’ guidebook?
2. IT’S SO DULL. I can’t emphasise this enough. Rock ‘n’ roll? Not a chance. Rock of Ages, and Ages, and Ages, and Ages…
3. It features a bunch of performances that range from the bland (leads Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough) to the competent (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to the bizarre (Tom Cruise). Cruise is one-note throughout; although his singing isn’t too bad, apparently strutting around bare-chested is more than enough to pass himself off as a rock star.
4. When the male lead (who is supposed to be a ROCK STAR) is prettier and has better skin and more feminine eyes than the female lead, you know you’re in trouble.
5. Comedy monkeys are no longer funny (if they ever were).
6. The whole Alec Baldwin/Russell Brand relationship thing feels dreadfully cheap and deeply silly, and neither actor looks comfortable in any way. Maybe it works on stage, but not here. And let’s not even talk about Brand’s cross-country accent.
7. The “classic hits” are largely forgettable, and even the fun ones are spoiled by the new singers and lyrics.
8. The big musical set-pieces are incompetently shot and edited – it’s difficult to enjoy the dance numbers when you can’t tell who’s doing what, because the film cuts away every two seconds. The lazy lighting and photography make the whole film look like bargain basement trash.
9. At one point the owner of a strip club tells the lead girl that the only way to truly express herself is by lap-dancing in her strip bar. Um, what? Is this really a good message to send out in a 12A film? It feels like a kid-friendly remake of Showgirls.
10. The film’s only saving grace is the moment where the naff NKOTB-style boy band gets thrown off stage. Sadly they are replaced by the lead boy, who couldn’t look less rock ‘n’ roll if he turned up in a top hat and tails.