“Rock of Ages” is a goofy, feel good musical. Unfortunately, someone forgot to let the audience in on it.
Director Adam Shankman has created a flashy over-the-top reality in which this crazy cast of characters appear to be having a blast. However, as the audience we’re left to feel like we’re not in on the joke.
It’s 1987, and Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) is headed to Hollywood to become a rock star. As fate would have it she meets fellow aspiring rocker, Drew Boley (Diego Boneta), who gets her a job at the legendary Bourbon Room as a waitress.
Facing financial ruin, the Bourbon Room’s fate rests on the final concert of rock gods Arsenal and their infamous leader Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise).
From there, things turn around, then they get worse and then it turns out alright in the end.
Helped along by Catherine Zeta-Jones as Patricia Whitmore, the crazy political wife and Malin Akerman as the sexually repressed “Rolling Stone” writer, Constance Sack. The two play minor characters, but manage to steal the show more than once.
Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, proves again that he can play crazy pretty convincingly, and (believe it or not) can sing.
Sadly, the chemistry between the two leads Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta leaves something to be desired. Their scenes dragged, and could have been trimmed back.
One thing this non-stop jukebox musical isn’t short on is catchy rock anthems. Featuring songs such as “Don’t Stop Believin'”,”We Built This City” and “Paradise City,” it’s tough not to want to sing along (please don’t though). But even with all the show-stopping numbers, it still feels like there’s something missing.
I think it’s safe to say that this musical is probably better on stage.
…just for fun: