I love musicals. Life is a musical inside my head. I would marry a musical but they would have to make polyandry legal in the US first. I even liked Grease 2. Hell, I bought the soundtrack to Grease 2. So, imagine my excitement when Rock of Ages came out on DVD. I just finished watching it and well, I might have to give back my PFLAG card for what I’m about to say. This movie sucks giant, sweaty, donkey balls. Its only redeeming quality was the duet with Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand singing REO Speedwagon and that was not great. Oh, and Russel Brand’s wig made him look like a pre-operative, trans Joan Jett. His hair is rock and roll enough all by itself. They didn’t need to put Cindarella’s front man on his head.
First, look at the acting and the casting. The lead guy, Dru, he looks like a Disney cartoon with that mooney face and dimple chin. Looks like Gaston jumped off the screen and grabbed a Flying V. The female lead, she’s cute enough but her singing voice sounds like Taylor Swift on a helium nasal cannula. Oh, and lets not forget the real star, Mr. Tom “Jump the Couch” Cruise. So, I figure the conversation with the director when something like this….
Tom: What’s my motivation?
Director: Basically, just play your normal, egomaniac space alien self but pretend you have really severe scoliosis.
Tom: I’m on it.
It looked like it was choreographed by 12 year old me, after I watched Grease 2. The worst part about it was the singing. The songs are my favorite part of musicals but the singing was wrong. I’m not saying that were bad singers, but they were Broadway singers and they way you have to sing for Broadway is completely different from the way you sing a rock and roll song. These were arranged as rock songs but sang with a Broadway style and it was just wrong. It sounded like if Josh Groban put out an album of Def Leopard covers with the original arrangements. It’s wrong. It kept taking me out of the movie.
They should have looked Moulin Rouge as a guide, they did rock songs in a Broadways style but they were arranged in that style. Or like Rent, those guys knew how to sing their genre. At the very least, they should have taught them to forget all their formal singing training and sing it like rock stars. It was so bad, I fast forwarded through all the songs.
In my movie rating scale, the highest praise I can give is it is a “watch on opening night” kind of movie. I would rate this one, “watch it if it comes on TNT and you’re too sick to get up off the couch and find the remote.”