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Rock of Ages - Film Review

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by Adam Ray Palmer (subscribe)
A film reviewer, a poem dabbler and an admirer of words. They are funny things aren't they? Words, where would we be without them? On TV probably.
Published September 8th 2012
Tom Cruise looked like he could rock out for ages!

As the Rock of Ages stage show is in full swing down on the West End, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema thought they'd take the smash hit to the big screen.

The Headline Poster

This 2012 musical film takes place in the dream creating or dream breaking city of Hollywood. It centres around two young starlets and the concert venue they work at; The Bourbon. Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and Drew (Diego Boneta) dream of fame and fortune in the legendary city as they strive for stardom by singing about every little moment that arises in their lives. They aspire the of life of rock stars and they will not stop until they achieve it; but of course love gets in the way ... but nothing a banging tune from the 80s can't sort out surely?

The script needed very little work to it as it just needed a small amount of conversation time between the list of catchy numbers straight out of the 80s rock scene. The writing was basic and predictable as it is a standard tale of love and teenage dreams. We can all predict what way this type of film would go; loves blossoms, then hindrances arise that need to be overcome but ultimately romance prevails. Plus, who doesn't like a little song and dance along the way?

The 80s hits are thick and fast in this musical rock-fest as you get the likes of Guns N Roses, Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leopard and a Starship classic! All the cast take turns in singing these chart toppers creating some surprise great vocals including blockbuster star Tom Cruise. He has a natural 80s rock voice with long notes being hit well and the high pitch screams and shouts too.

The acting in ROA is hard to judge. It sounds strange to say that in a two hour film but there is very little screen time for acting as a whole. This being said, I thought Tom Cruise was brilliant as the rocker Stacee Jaxx, parading around drunk, sassy and smouldering to all the ladies. Tom truly shocked me as it isn't his usual action role. Russell Brand didn't know whether his character was from Birmingham or his London self as he kept slipping in and out of accents. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Alec Baldwin however rounded off quite a good variety of stars as they aided the musical feel.

Tom Cruise playing an unusual singing role as Stacee Jaxx

I don't think Chicago or Mamma Mia! have anything to worry about as this musical isn't near their level. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it but it is all a bit too predictable for me. However, the scene with the Brand and Baldwin duet is brilliantly crafted and a very funny moment for the audience as it ends with one hell of a snog. As the narrative progresses though, everything is conventional and you know what to expect, but half the thrill is what classic 80s hit is coming next. To be honest, Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' is certainly a fun sing-a-long climax to any film in my opinion.

Star Rating: 3/5
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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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