Rock of Ages

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2012 musical comedy

Rating: 10/20

Plot: Oh, who the hell cares?

I really thought I was going to like this. I felt hooked with an opening musical number, a sing-a-long thing on a bus. After that, however, Alec Baldwin popped in and looked like he got lost and stumbled into the wrong movie, Russell Brand does way too much of his Russell Brand thing where he talks about Margaret Thatcher's bumhole and references Road House which just makes me wish I had decided to watch Road House instead, and Tom Cruise shows up with a ridiculous codpiece and a monkey. Actually, I would have really liked Tom Cruise had his character been on the screen for no more than 7 minutes in this. He sings just fine, so they could have given him one song. And I do like that codpiece. He does get a funny first line. It's one of the only lines that made me nearly chuckle in this movie. The other line I thought was funny was when somebody said, "My son ate the head off my neighbor's horse because of Stacee Jaxx!" Most of the humor in the dialogue is predictable, and predictable writing is generally not funny. The movie's a real mess, so poorly edited that people who just popped the movie in their dvd players to see Tom Cruise's codpiece and hear Russell Brand say "Balls!" would probably even notice. There's a lot going on, but none of it is really developed in a way that makes you care at all. Baldwin's problem where he might lose his club? Who really cares? The anti-rock people led by Zeta-Jones and Cranston, two people who really should have better things to do with their time? It's just not fleshed out in a way that makes it work. Giamatti's shenanigans? Giamatti's appearance is funnier than the writing in this, but the character just feels like a caricature. And the love story at the center of all this? Well, that might work, but the two kids who play Drew and Sherrie (Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough) are terrible. They sing well enough, but they're bad in nearly every scene where they aren't singing, and how they interact with each other in their initial meeting almost makes it look like they shouldn't even get lead roles in a middle school play. I didn't like the music very much in this, always a problem with a musical. The stuff's all performed well, but I just don't like the songs chosen for this. It's a very Disneyfied rock 'n' roll musical actually. This thing really needed to be rated R, I think. It's flaccid, predictable, and dull.

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