Film Review: Rock of Ages
I was going to just write down a bunch of “HAHAHAHA.”
However, I feel like that would only express the condescension in my laughter, and not the overwhelming incredulity that I actually feel.
After watching Rock of Ages, I honestly can’t believe what I just experienced.
TL;DR Holy shit, this movie is fucking abysmal. Like, oh my god. How is this possible? 1 out of 5 stars.
And you thought Dark Shadows had the crown this year. Tim Burton must be disappointed.
Okay, so the plot is…umm…give me a second. So Julianne Hough moves to LA to live her dream. Meets Diego Boneta at seedy rock bar. Falls in love. Circumstances. Becomes stripper.
Meanwhile, Diego works at seedy rock bar. Want to be famous. Circumstances. Is lead in awful 80s boy band.
Meanwhile, Tom Cruise is seedy rock star. Is old. Fucks Malin Akerman. Achieves redemption without actually doing anything.
Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand work at seedy rock bar. Are gay for each other. Money problems.
Meanwhile, Catherine Zeta-Jones is uptight housewife. Unsurprisingly secret rock fan. Has no impact on story whatsoever.
I think I missed a couple of others, but you get the picture.
Yeah, so in addition to the retardedly expansive plot, the characters (every single one of them) have no believable (or in some cases, none at all) development. Hough is probably the best example. She’s a cookie cutter “girl looking for a dream in LA.” She effortlessly falls into a job and a relationship that happen to be perfect for her goals, then rage quits and becomes a stripper over a misunderstanding that Gossip Girl would blush at.
Cruise is equally pathetic. He’s probably the central character, and he does absolutely nothing. All he does is sing and fuck a couple of times, then comes out the winner of the story without having done anything believably heroic. He gives Alec some money (which Cruise couldn’t give 2 shits about), but that’s it. What the actual fuck?
The only reason to sit through this piece of absolute shit is the rare song that isn’t a Glee dropout atrocity. And Hough’s stripper outfits look hot.
Why I hate this movie:
Let’s have a look at some more terrible characters.
Mary J Blige shows up as the strip club’s owner. She has no impact on the plot at all (apart from making Hough a stripper). She comes in past the halfway mark (of a 2 fucking hour movie) and then appears in all the group numbers from then on.
Worse, she sings a song about how empowering stripping is for women, which convinces Hough to do it. Worse, that song is Any Way You Want It, which IRL isn’t terrible. Thanks.
Which leads into another very strange point: Rock of Ages is weridly misogynistic. The female “characters” are mostly either groupies, strippers or street-walking hookers. The only exceptions are Blige and Zeta-Jones (who, twist, is a groupie in disguise).
Zeta-Jones is a monumentally ineffective villain. She only gets a handful of scenes and is absurdly bad at her whole “take down the bar” initiative. Her campaign has no effect on The Bourbon Room at all, and all it takes to defeat her is a grope from Cruise. What the fuck?
Speaking of incompetent villains, Paul Giamatti is another bad guy as Cruise’s manager. For some reason he’s keeping Cruise from being great and writing new stuff. This is never explained. Giamatti knows how profitable Cruise is. Why would he purposely prevent him from making him more money?
Malin Akerman’s character starts off detesting Cruise, but all it takes for her to totally fall under his spell is a few creepy sideways glances.
And their sex scene is gross and weird. In Hairspray (director Adam Shankman’s previous work, which was amazing) the sexual jokes were treated much more tastefully. There’s fucking tongues everywhere in this mess, and all the sexual innuendo is so blatant that it’s impossible to find it funny. And not, you know, desperate.
There are way too many songs, and the songs are terrible cover versions, and they try to awkwardly shoehorn them into the context of the plot, and the songs are too short and badly mashed up. Every 5 seconds somebody bursts into song to try to keep the audience from noticing the shitty plot, but it fails. Horribly.
Oh god, I could be here forever. I think that about covers the main points.
Also, just on a bad character development rehash, Diego’s character makes a point of telling Hough he has stage fright. When he does need to perform on stage, he conveniently gets over this problem because Diego angry at Hough! Rarr, confidence!
Reasons to watch:
Julianne Hough is pretty.
She has an incredible body and shows it off wonderfully during her almost prostitution scene with Cruise. Dat ass.
Baldwin and Brand turn out to be in love with each other. I liked how the movie didn’t make a big deal out of it.
Brand flashes his tits. I lol’d.
Best line goes to Baldwin after he witnesses Diego’s shithouse boy band perform: “Oh my god, I just threw up. In my pants. Out of my ass.” Applies to the whole movie, really.
Oh my fucking god, I still can’t believe that this exists. How the holy hell did this happen? It’s absolutely, incomparably awful. Just. Awful. Why? 1 out of 5 stars.