Movie Review – Get ready to rock the 1980s

2012-07-06 12:56

Film: Rock of Ages (Nu Metro)
Director: Adam Shankman
Featuring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Malin Ackerman and Tom Cruise
Rating: 7/10

‘Where the hell are my Def Leppard albums?” I thought as I sang along to Tom Cruise’s supersexy rendition of Pour Some Sugar On Me.

Complete with headband, open leather jerkin, torso tattoos and a rock-star attitude, Cruise steals this show based on the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.

A bit of a naff name for a movie, perhaps, and it has a fairly predictable story line – small-town girl and boy meet in the big city while chasing their dreams of musical stardom – but this rock musical is the most fun I have had at the movies in a long time.

Those who can’t picture Axl Rose in his tight white shorts, or who don’t know how to rock shoulder pads, perms and stonewashed jeans beware – you won’t get all the references. But while the 1980s were a fashion tragedy, they sure did know how to rock back then.

The two young leads – Julianne Hough as Sherrie and Diego Boneta as Drew – are likeable and sweet voiced. Hough is a pro, having starred alongside Cher in Burlesque. Here she gets to belt it out with another superstar of music – Mary J Blige.

This is Boneta’s big-screen debut. Eighties kids should look out for his makeover; it’s uncanny.

The supporting cast is ably led by Alec Baldwin as the ageing rocker owner of The Bourbon Room, while Russell Brand manages not to ruin the film by being in it.

Director Adam Shankman clearly reined him in – though now and then Brand’s irrepressible madness shows.

The highlight is the Reo Speedwagon duet Baldwin and Brand sing...quite remarkable.

Catherine Zeta-Jones channels a lady of the twinset-and-pearls brigade to be the personification of moral outrage and she too gives it tongue-in-cheek stick.

But the star of this frothy bit of rocker fun is Cruise. It is inspired to have a true 80s icon play an 80s icon – albeit in a different arena.

Cruise has a whole bunch of fun camping it up, and his swaggering, steamy version of Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead Or Alive is going to forever be a moment in my personal movie history.

»Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala

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