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Rock of Ages | The Clapper Bored

Rock of Ages

Words by Nick Hilton.

Maybe I got a little over-excited about the trailer. I think that’s understandable, if Footloose has taught us one thing it’s that group singing and dancing is supposed to get you worked up. Still, despite the naysayers, I was willing to shell out £18 (yes, fuck you VUE) to go see Rock of Ages the new jukebox musical from Adam ‘Hairspray’ Shankman and yes, it was as disappointing as this opening paragraph has set it up to be. There’s plenty of good looking people in great 80s costumes but that can’t really be used in place of an interesting plot or any sort of urgency of pacing.

The film follows Julianne Hough’s attempts to make it big in Hollywood via a waitressing job at Alec Baldwin’s The Bourbon Rooms. There she meets Diego Boneta and they begin a whirlwind romance that has about 40% more impromptu singing than real life. It’s perfectly sweet and the leads are surprisingly likeable it’s just that the first act feels like a whole (albeit compressed) character arc and the rest of the film is just dragging out the joke. When your entire relationship is built on a two minute montage and the opening lines to ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ it’s hard to get overly excited when things start to go downhill…

Perhaps the biggest talking point of the film has been Tom Cruise’s performance as Stacee Jaxx (or, perhaps, Russel Brand’s abysmal Brummie accent) which is a relatively interesting, if amateurish, piece of have-a-go acting. Cruise is pretty much game for anything these days (see Tropic Thunder for further details) so perhaps the mooted Top Gun 2 will go all out gay. Having seen, possibly, the weirdest ever celluloid gay kiss in Rock of Ages, you’ve got to believe that anything can happen.

A hotchpotch of relatively fun moments that are drawn out interminably and with varying degrees of success. Not as fun as it ought to be.

Title: Rock of Ages
Director: Adam Shankman
Starring: Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman, CZJ
Running Time: A good two hours
Certificate: 12a

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