Get ready to rock n’ roll with ‘Rock of Ages’, directed by Adam Shankman. Shankman is no stranger to musicals, as he directed the highly entertaining 2007 ‘Hairspray’, and while it is no ‘Hairspray’, I always have this guilty pleasure towards this film, but now looking at this film in a more critical lens, this film faulters quite a lot, yet, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t succeed either.
The film is set in the year of 1987, where a girl from Oklahoma, named Sherrie, moves to Los Angeles to become an aspiring singer, however, her records get stolen, and meets a boy, named Drew, who also has dreams of being a star, as he helps her in getting a job at the Bourbon Room.
The characters are definable, as you know their personality traits, their goals, their objectives, the only thing missing is that these characters could go from definable to fully fleshed out, and I think it’s because of the film’s screenplay, we have too many characters to give time to grow and develop in this 2 hour flick, so the characters are robbed from growing, and instead we gloss over the character’s relationships, an example is Drew and Sherrie as we get a montage of their relationship.
The songs in this movie heavily rely on fleshing these characters out, and while at times they do a fantastic job illustrating these characters emotions and desires, examples include “More Than Words”/”Heaven” and “We Built This City”/”We’re Not Gonna Take It” mash-ups. However, sometimes the characters get lost in the shuffle like Bryan Cranston’s character Mayor Mike Whitmore who isn’t really necessary in the film’s overall story.
‘Rock of Ages’ is directed very well, the songs are catchy and enjoyable to listen too, the film’s cast does a serviceable job portraying these characters, with praise towards Tom Cruise’s astounding performance as Stacee Jaxx, it’s just unfortunate the film’s characters don’t get the room to grow in this large ensemble cast with an unfocused story.
Although, the film is fun, and is nothing but a good time.