Rock of Ages is a film adaptation of the 2006 Broadway musical by Chris D’Arienzo of the same name. Set in 1986 on Los Angeles, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) travels from Oklahoma with head full of dreams. She meets Drew, a bus boy at the popular nightclub “The Bourbon Room” who gets her a job as a waitress and soon steals her heart. The club, though, is in danger of shutting down due to unpaid taxes and opposition from the Mayor (Bryan Cranston) and his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who wanted to clean the Sunset Strip. With Rock legend Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) final performance with his band, things picked-up between Drew and Sherrie’s relationship that led to many different things.
Watching the film feels like watching a big-budgeted adult “Glee” movie version. I find myself cringing and laughing at the same time whenever one of the casts burst into song, which happened in about 80% of the film. I love that Julianne Hough can actually sing and delivered outstanding performances. Also, Mary J. Blige playing the strip club owner killed it! In contrast, I thought Alec Baldwin playing the club owner, Russell Brand as his right-hand and Tom Cruise altogether failed miserably. They’re just off. It’s like SNL gone wrong.
The film actually started full of energy and full of promise. It was absorbing and the pacing was great but halfway through, all the elements just dropped off and it suddenly became too karaoke. The musical numbers were great alright but the plot suffered tremendously. Ultimately, the film became less charming and ended up as a”star-studded” karaoke film.
Based on Rock of Ages by Chris D’Arienzo
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Catherine Zeta Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russel Brand, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige and Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx
Distributor: Warner Brothers Philippines