Musicals in film have been around for a very long time and have created moments that many people will remember forever. Despite that being the case, this genre has taken a hit in popularity over the past several years. There really haven't been as many of these movies being released recently and the one's that are out there aren't usually worth remembering. With the release of Rock of Ages, I think the people at Warner Bros. might be trying to change that.
In Rock of Ages, a small town country girl named Sherrie (Julianne Hough) moves to Hollywood with the dream of making as a singer. While on her road to potential stardom, she runs into a variety of people who also happen to be musically inclined. Some of them have desires similar to hers, some have failed and others have already achieved the legendary status of being a rock star. Regardless of what her future holds, Sherrie goes on a journey that may bring her fame and money, but it may also introduce her to things like friendship and love.
As you would expect, Rock of Ages contains a large amount of music that's spread throughout the movie. Anyone who lived through the 80's will be able to recognize at least some of the many songs being performed. Seeing as it's a musical, this soundtrack that's heard by the audience is very important. I'd say it serves its purpose overall and is well done more often than it isn't.
There are a couple of times when it's not done as well as I would have hoped. During those occasions, some of the characters would breakout in song and it kind of disrupted a perfectly good scene that contained some quality storytelling and/or character development. If they would have transitioned from talking to singing more fluidly in these situations or just chose to leave them out, these scenes would have went much better. The start of the singing in these particular scenes felt a little out-of-place, but the performances are solid overall once they get going.
Whenever they're not singing or dancing, the movie shows the characters living life and dealing whatever it throws at them. During this time, the audience gets to see the actual personalities of the people in the film and we're also allowed to learn about their stories. For me, this is where Rock of Ages is at its best. I honestly believe that this movie would have been just as good if almost all of the musical pieces were set aside completely. I know that wouldn't happen since this is a musical, but I would have loved to have seen more of what these actors had to offer in their roles.
Some of these actors had some interesting characters and some decent story lines to go with them, but one stands out more than the others. It shouldn't come as a surprise when I say this, but Tom Cruise is the best actor on-screen. He's a scene stealer in Rock of Ages and is fantastic in his role as rock and roll legend Stacee Jaxx. I wish the film was centered around his character and featured some shenanigans from his run in the music biz. That would have the potential to be pretty good based on what I saw here. Maybe they might make a spin-off featuring his character?
Outside of a couple of the musical pieces that got in the way and a man on man kiss, I didn't find that much to complain about. If I had to describe this movie using one word I would say that it's fun. Rock of Ages is a movie that people who are fans of the genre will probably love, but I also think people who aren't completely into this stuff might like it too. It's not going to win any awards on anything, but it is something that I see as legitimately enjoyable from the perspective of fans who are out to see an entertaining flick.
Director: Adam Shankman
Mary J. Blige
Film Length: 123 minutes
Release Date: June 15, 2012
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures