Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rock of Ages

   Most Broadway shows don't translate well to films and "Rock of Ages" is no exception. A marginal but crowd pleasing musical, "ROA" contains a great soundtrack of '80's rock but it's star power casting fizzles in excruciatingly embarrassing moments. The only saving grace is Tom Cruise, who once again proves he can do just about anything and make it work.

         Mr. Cruise went into this project a self-admitted "bad" singer but after some hard work with a vocal coach, he makes a very credible singer and the only actor who seems in on the joke. His role as "Stacee Jaxx" is spot on rock star extravagance. The rest of the cast including Alex Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamati, and Russel Brand all find ways to completely embarrass themselves. The young leads played by Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta are attractive enough but robotic, boring singers that can barely act. They may have chemistry with each other but none with the audience and when you don't care about the leads, you lose focus on the rest of the film.

          Like the Journey song says "they go on and on and on..." just like this film. It seemed like the end would never come. The only thing keeping my interest was Mr. Cruise, but unfortunately, even he succumbs to an embarrassing moment singing "I want to Know What Love Is" into the rear end of Malin Ackerman in a poorly filmed (bordering on pornographic) seduction number.

           Director Adam Shankman did a very good job bringing "Hairspray" to the screen but comes up short here.  You're never sure if this is meant to be taken seriously or one big inside joke. Only Mr. Cruise successfully plays it both ways. I will give credit to some of the musical numbers and their clever choreography but overall, this rock falls flat.

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