Based on the hit musical by the same name, Rock of Ages is a tribute to classic 80s rock music, big personalities and even bigger hair.
We are first introduced to Sherrie (Julianne Hough), a small town girl living in a lonely world. She takes a midnight bus going anywhere (well, to Hollywood). A chance encounter with a city boy named Drew (Diego Boneta) lands her a job at the legendary Bourbon Room. Run by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and Lonny Barnett (Russell Brand), the club is a hotbed for new talent.
Facing financial difficulties, The Bourbon Room reaches out to headline act Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) to perform at the club and change their fortunes. Accompanied by his slimy manager Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti), Jaxx is a typical 80s rock star, living a hedonistic lifestyle of sex, booze, and an exotic monkey sidekick. Hearing of the concert, religious conservative Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) sets out to stop them at all costs.
Musicals are only as good as their soundtracks, and Rock of Ages is brilliant. With the entire cast lending their vocal talents, we are treated to unique renditions of Paradise City, More Than Words, Any Way You Want It, Don’t Stop Believin’ and a fantastic medley of We’re Not Gonna Take It and We Built This City. It all translates wonderfully from stage to screen, with each song feeling like a highly polished music video.
Tom Cruise proves to be perfectly cast when he hits the stage with ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, delivering one of his most iconic performances to date. Julianne and Diego make a very cute blossoming couple, Paul and Catherine are suitably villainous, Alec and Russell make a hilarious comedy pairing, and Mary J. Blige plays a great supporting role as owner of The Venus Club.
Rock of Ages is the most fun-packed, feel-good film of 2012. With a smoking hot cast, laugh-out-loud script and a soundtrack that’ll have you tapping your feet, this instant classic will rock you like a hurricane!
Already on my third viewing at the time of writing, Rock of Ages is wonderfully re-watchable. Added to which are a bumper jukebox of extras, including an extended version of the film, three featurettes (Behind-the-scenes, Legends of the Sunset Strip, and The Stories We Sing), Any Way You Want It music video, song scene selection, and an UltraViolet digital copy. The only noticeably missing feature is a cast and crew commentary, but I guess that every rose has its thorn!
Review by: Mark O'Connell
Review Date: 8th October 2012
Rock of Ages
Rating out of 5: