Shalom Life | December 19, 2014

REVIEW: Rock of Ages

Even if you like music but hate musicals, like nostalgia but hate the 80s, like singing but hate dancing, and like Tom Cruise but hate Scientology, ‘Rock of Ages’ will find a way to win you over

By: Jake Horowitz

Published: June 11th, 2012 in Culture » Film » Reviews

REVIEW: Rock of Ages

After years of sold out showings and rave reviews for the stage production of ‘Rock of Ages’, the movie adaptation is finally here to bring the classic rock musical to the big screen. Directed by Adam Shankman, ‘Rock of Ages’, takes a very play-structured plot, throws in some A-List actors like Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, and Paul Giamatti, gets them to start singing and sees what sticks. In a summer full of robots, aliens, and superheroes, can a musical about the 80’s really stand out?

‘Rock of Ages’ opens up on the classic 80’s movie/coming of age story scene; the small town girl riding into the big city on a bus. The small town girl, Sherrie, played by Julianne Hough, kicks the movie off with a musical number as she gets into LA to achieve her dreams. Of course, she immediately runs into the city boy who she will soon fall in love with, Drew, played by Diego Boneta. After a song and a dance routine, Drew gets Sherrie a job at his place of employment, a world-famous rock venue/nightclub that, of course, the ‘bad guys’ in the movie are trying to shut down. Staying true to the plot of every play in the world, the two lovers must sing their way through the turmoil of the times as protestors try to shut down the club and bring an end to rock n’ roll forever.

So what we have with ‘Rock of Ages’ is a plot that is all too familiar, along with a theme that we’ve seen too many times. Boy meets girl, conflict is thrown their way, social messages are added to the mix, and the boy and girl must get their final kiss in before the credits role. In ‘Rock of Ages’, nothing new is brought into the formula aside from some awkward dialogue and scenes of Alec Baldwin singing. Yes, Alec Baldwin sings in ‘Rock of Ages’.

But, from the very first scene it becomes clear that ‘Rock of Ages’ is a musical first, and a movie second. While there is a nice vintage vibe to the overall look and feel of the film, the real selling point is the music. Sure, there are some good performances by Tom Cruise and the rest of the actors here, but the acting is nothing compared to the singing. And yes, the singing is amazing.

While most people wouldn’t think that Tom Cruise can sing, it turns out that not only can he sing, but he can sing pretty well. Among those in the cast that also can sing are people actually known for singing, including Hough, Boneta, and Russell Brand. While some people, like Paul Giamatti and Alec Baldwin do sing some lines, luckily for us, and presumably them, they don’t do it very often. But it is quite funny when they do.

With a vast catalogue of classic rock hits from the 70s and 80s making up the majority of this film, ‘Rock of Ages’ becomes a film where everything else fades away and the music becomes immersive, consuming, well produced, and incredibly catchy. With songs like ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ played and sung to such perfection, it becomes clear about 20 minutes in to ‘Rock of Ages’ that nothing but the music matters. Yes, there’s a story we’ve seen a hundred times, but who cares when some of the greatest songs in classic rock history are blasting through the theatre and into your ears?

Whether or not you enjoy ‘Rock of Ages’ is entirely dependent on whether or not you like classic rock, great entertainment, and a fun time at the movies. It might not have the special effects of The Avengers, the humor of The Dictator, and the Piranhas of Piranha 3DD, but ‘Rock of Ages’ has everything you need to have an unforgettable Summer Blockbuster experience. It may be cheesy and awkward, but ‘Rock of Ages’ does way more right than it does wrong, and what it does wrong doesn’t really matter.

Even if you like music but hate musicals, like nostalgia but hate the 80s, like singing but hate dancing, and like Tom Cruise but hate Scientology, ‘Rock of Ages’ will still win you over. You can try to hate this movie as much as you want, but ultimately hating ‘Rock of Ages’ is like hating a puppy dog that keeps licking you in the face and doing backflips all day long. Try as hard as you want, but this movie about a ♪ small town girl living in a lonely world will take the midnight train straight into your list of favorite movies.

Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (50-41) Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (50-41) TrendingJonah Hill and James Franco's 'True Story' Gets First Trailer Jonah Hill and James Franco's 'True Story' Gets First Trailer TrendingBob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed Inducted Into Grammy Hall of Fame Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed Inducted Into Grammy Hall of Fame Trending
 

Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (40-31)

December 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (40-31)

Join Shalom Life in celebrating the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and beautiful Jewish women of the year.

Read More

Breakthrough Jew: OB O'Brien

December 18, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Breakthrough Jew: OB O'Brien

The recent signee to Drake's OVO label is looking to put Hamilton on the rap

Read More

HBO Picks Up Sarah Silverman's Comedy Pilot

December 18, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
HBO Picks Up Sarah Silverman's Comedy Pilot

The comedian will also serve as an executive producer on the show

Read More

Sorry Guys, Theaters Will NOT Be Showing 'Team America: World Police' in Lieu of 'The Inteview'

December 18, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Sorry Guys, Theaters Will NOT Be Showing 'Team America: World Police' in Lieu of 'The Inteview'

Paramount has cancelled all theater showings of the Trey Parker & Matt Stone flick with an incredibly similar premise to that of James Franco & Seth Rogen's

Read More

Presenting the Hasidic "Shake It Off" Hanukkah Parody [VIDEO]

December 18, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Presenting the Hasidic "Shake It Off" Hanukkah Parody [VIDEO]

Appropriately titled "I'm Taking Off"

Read More

Israeli Study: Kids Start Enjoying the Misfortune of Others At Very Early Age

December 18, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Study: Kids Start Enjoying the Misfortune of Others At Very Early Age

Study conducted by the University of Haifa found evidence of 'schadenfreude' in two-year-olds

Read More

Harvard Suspends Purchases from SodaStream after anti-Israel Pressure

December 18, 2014 | By JNS.org
Harvard Suspends Purchases from SodaStream after anti-Israel Pressure

The decision was made after two pro-Palestinian groups filed complaints

Read More

Historic Six-Day War Photo Recreated at Western Wall

December 18, 2014 | By Hen Kotes-Bar
Historic Six-Day War Photo Recreated at Western Wall

Three soldiers captured on camera just after Jerusalem's Old City was taken in 1967 return to scene some 47 years with the same photographer

Read More

More Headlines