‘Rock of Ages’ sets the stage

June 29, 2012

RATING: 4 of 5 stars – Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. / New Line Cinema


Staff Reporter


If you have never been a fan of musicals and you did not quite catch on to the ’80s hair metal scene, you will feel like you have been missing out after seeing the new Broadway adaptation of “Rock of Ages.”


The classic story of a small town girl moving to the dangerous city of Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a famous singer does not cover it for this high-energy film.


While the music is entertaining, the tongue-in-cheek characters make this movie enjoyable.


Tom Cruise steals the show with his comical performance as the bizarre, rock ‘n’ roll superstar, Stacee Jaxx.


Throughout the movie, Jaxx is intoxicated and surrounded by women and his pet monkey, but the biggest problem his manager Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti) must deal with is the struggling state of mind of his rock star.


Along with Cruise, Alec Baldwin take part in the humorous story with his comedic role as Dennis Dupree, owner of the famous rock ‘n’ roll bar The Bourbon Room. Baldwin perfectly captures his outdated character of a man holding on to his rock ‘n’ roll fantasies of the good times while trying to hold onto his wild bar in an age where “rock ‘n’ roll is dead.”


Russell Brand cracks up the audience as Lonny, an employee at The Bourbon Room and helpless partier, which fits his public image quite well. It seems that every role Brand plays is a satirical parody on his actual life and this movie is no different for him.


More Hollywood heavyweights such as Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and Catherine Zeta-Jones display their singing chops in the movie but don’t quite nail it like Cruise in his performance as Jaxx.


Cruise is constantly making the movie his own with hilarious sexual innuendos and entertaining strangeness as his lonely cowboy role. Along with his already-proven acting ability, his singing will prove that Cruise is a jack of all trades.


As Jaxx is a rock star on the way down in his career, the movie’s main character Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) is beginning hers.


Like her role as new talent in Hollywood, Hough bursts onto the screen with a mesmerizing appeal that makes you want to see more of her. By the end of the movie, you will ask when and where you can see this girl again.


The classic ’80s rock ballads are a perfect catalyst to the high energy romance and partying that makes this movie unique.


The music is entertaining enough to go see the movie, then the cultural events that the movie covers gives a deeper meaning to the entire story and generation as a whole.


Though some of the scenes in the movie are corny and may go a little overboard, like when Baldwin and Brand give into their forbidden desires for one another, but the movie has heart that will bring a smile to viewers faces.


When the movie ends with Jaxx performing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” the true meaning of the story shines through the screen.


You will leave the theater encouraged to rock out to ‘80s hair metal jams all night while re-enacting some of Cruise’s seductive moves.


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