Ah, the smell of a grungy, dirty, hole in the wall bar. Inside there are the finest ladies rock and roll has to offer to the rock gods! Cheap drinks a-plenty and Def Leppard rocking the stages. Now, rock fans! Here’s your chance to relive it with ROCK OF AGES! Based off the Broadway hit, Director Adam Shankman makes this one of the most entertaining films of 2012. Maybe one of the best of the year. That’s right, I said it!
All right, we open with an kick ass rendition of Guns N Roses rendition of Paradise City which is perfect to get the audience prepped and be ready for a rocking good two hours of nostalgic rock rebellion. Julianne Hough plays Sherrie, an Oklahoma girl who has dreams of Hollywood that she hops a bus to make herself known. When she arrives, she persuades a job out of Dennis, the owner of the Bourbon Room. Remember the smell, rock fans and that’s the Bourbon Room. Dennis is played with zesty enjoyment by Alec Baldwin. Now in a musical like this, you must have a cliche romantic storyline that will put a smile on your face. Enter the man of her dreams that ironically wants the same thing. Drew, played by Diego Bonata. He can sing, dance and he wants to be a rock star. It suckered me, not gonna lie.
Meanwhile, not everyone embraces it. The new mayor of Los Angeles, Mike Whitmore (played with slimy enjoyment by Bryan Cranston) has a plan to shut down The Bourbon Room and clean up the streets of the city. Although it’s really his wife, Patricia that wants to end this filth. Played by a passionate Catherine Zeta Jones bringing a little Hilary Clinton in the character. She lights up the screen with her rendition of Pat Benatar’s Hit Me with Your Best Shot that would have every male on America wanting her. Trust me, the sex appeal is there.
Now, let’s get to the scene stealer. Ladies and gentleman, Tom Cruise once chews up the scenery and sets the screen on fire with Stacee Jaxx. Decked out in tattoos across a muscular body, greasy long hair and a narcissistic personality, he could be Axl Rose if he wanted. Did you know he could sing? Me neither. His renditions of Paradise City and Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive will have you searching for your lighters to put up to the sky. Cruise brings dynamic flair to the film.
We also get Paul Giamatti as Jaxx’s agent, Paul Gill just relishing in his slick, sneaky character that tries to find the next Stacee Jaxx but without Jaxx finding out. Mary J. Bilge as a strip club owner with a heart of gold, Malin Akerman as a Rolling Stone reporter who has a fling with Cruise’s Jaxx and Russell Brand’s Lonnie that was gifted with the many of the film’s one liners and his passion for Rock and Roll is something to cherish.
I’m glad that they didn’t Glee-ify some of the greatest hits but kept the hard rock soul deep inside especially with music by Def Leppard, Night Ranger, Bon Jovi, Journey, Foreigner, and Twisted Sister. Infused with brisk pacing, a winning cast that looks like they are having a great time making this, and true rock and roll infused within. Rock of Ages is a nostalgic love letter to Rock and Roll that will make you dust off the leather jacket and Def Leppard T-shirt.
Rock of Ages gets an A and a four star rating.
I’m Jake Turner, reminding you to spend your money wisely