PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking, and language.
June 15, 2012
Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta Jones, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston
Warner Bros. Pictures
More on this movie at IMDb.com
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
Review: Rock of Ages
By Hannah Goodwyn
CBN.com Senior Producer
- If you haven’t seen the trailer for Rock of Ages, let’s get one thing straight: this is not a Christian movie. The title has a certain religious connotation to it, but this is not a faith-friendly film; it is far from it.
Rock of Ages is a film version of the Broadway show that glorifies some of the most popular rock music from the 1980s. Starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta Jones, this rock musical has star power but falls flat because of a cliché-heavy story and blatantly offensive content.
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Small town girl Sherrie Christian wants to be a singer, so she packs her bags for Los Angeles. With her time in Hollywood off to a bad start, Sherrie meets Drew, a singer who works at Sunset Strip’s legendary spot, the Bourbon Club. Their rock ‘n’ roll romance weaves throughout the film, as these rockers battle a group of conservative women lead by the mayor’s wife over who’s ‘not going to take it anymore’.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN ROCK OF AGES
Hits from Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, and Whitesnake are the soundtrack for this Rock of Ages story. Sung by the actors themselves, these ‘80s tunes are at the center of this movie from Hairspray director Adam Shankman.
Oscar nominee Tom Cruise plays the inebriated rock star Stacee Jaxx. Julianne Hough of Dancing with the Stars and Footloose takes the lead actress role as Sherrie, with newcomer Diego Boneta as her love interest, Drew. Chicago’s Catherine Zeta Jones returns her to cinematic musical roots as Patricia Whitmore, the mayor’s religious wife who protests against Jaxx and the Bourbon Club. Alec Baldwin and comedian Russell Brand own and work at the Club.
If it weren’t for the film’s consistent sexual content, Cruise’s performance would be worth seeing. His portrayal as the desperately sad and crazy rocker is beyond believable and his vocal range, achieved with the guidance of Axl Rose’s coach, solidifies Cruise's talent. He is the star of the show.
HOWEVER, Rock of Ages, at times, is overwhelmingly offensive. How this film could be rated PG-13 is a mystery. From the groping, to the sex scenes, to the scantily-clad men and women, to the strip club takes, Rock of Ages is littered with classless sexual content that seem to be in the movie just for shock value.
The addition of Patricia Whitmore to the movie is worth noting, as the Broadway version does not include her character. It is also surprising that Shankman would have such a cliched character (religious and conservative) considering concerned adults from varying political views challenged the music being produced, including Tipper Gore. One seemingly crucial element of the musical was not changed in the film: two of the characters realize they are gay and in love.
IN THE END
Rock of Ages’ redeeming value is in its explicit portrayal of the adverse effects of fame and fortune and how the industry can make and break you. Still, that is not enough to counterbalance its offensive content and choppy story.
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Hannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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