To say that Tom Cruise ‘saves this Rock of Ages‘ would be a little unfair. There are other great performances. too. However, until Cruise arrives, you might wonder if this is a long Saturday Night Live parody.
All the actors did their own singing, which is very impressive.
But, NO ONE rocks it like the Cruiser! He makes everyone else sound like a beginner. In my opinion, he gave the performance of his career . His voice coach was Ron Anderson, Axl Rose‘s coach. BRAVO to Mr. Anderson.
I have made singers out of non-singers, but it took a lot longer than it would take to shoot a film, such as this. Tom has complete control over the film, and his character, Stacee Jaxx. Jaxx is a 70’s sensation trying to hold on to his music and Rock-Star-status in the late 80’s, while simultaneously transitioning to a solo career.
Julianne Hough, whose talent been largely wasted in earlier films, (Burlesque, Footloose) gets star billing here, and she plays it to the bone as a sweet little Oklahoma girl, riding the bus to Hollywood, chasing her dreams. She gets mugged, of course, and the bar-back (singer) from fictitious Bourbon Club (modeled after Whisky A Go Go) saves her and gets her a waitress job.
With no clothes and no money, the next day she is rockin’ a hip chiffon beaded skirt and boots on her first date with bar-back-boy. His character is well played by Diego Boneta. The date is at the Hollywood sign in the hills; which in real-life would land them in jail just for climbing up there.
The songs are the BEST songs from the 80’s, performed really well. well enough to buy the Rock of Ages soundtrack.
Paul Giamatti, who is consistently brilliant as an actor plays the sleazy manager of Jaxx, and is true to form.
Bryan Cranston and Catherine Zeta-Jones play the mayor and wife who want to stop sex and rock and roll. kind of 50’s and corny but Catherine is a good singer and dancer and it gave her a vehicle to showcase.
Sometimes I was watching a great rock and roll musical, and other times I was giggling thinking I was being punked. The script was so uneven.
In the end, the MUSIC got me. Tom ‘s singing rocked me and I want to see it again. The music is great, if you are a rocker. If not, you can skip this one. It runs 123 minutes and it flew by.
A longer appearance was made by Mary J. Blige who did a beautiful job as a strip club owner, saving little miss Oklahoma after a misunderstanding with her bar back singer. Jullianne has a somewhat nasally voice, but she can sing. She is from Dancing with the Stars, I would have liked her to have a number. She just swayed and rolled her extensions a lot.
I say, go and have fun, laugh , sing, and leave happy. I give this film an A-
FYI: At the June 1, 2012 opening of the Bourbon Room on the casino floor at The Venetian, Las Vegas, it was announced that Rock of Ages would be coming to one of the resort’s theaters beginning in December 2012. A “surprise” flash mob was deployed at the grand opening of the lounge, followed by the announcement.
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