Director Adam Shankman
Starring Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston and Mary J Blige
What makes a musical special is a spectacular opening number, which Rock of Ages doesn’t have. Instead, it has covers that strain at fabulous and mostly ballads instead of anthems. Yes, we know the staged schoolyard medleys of Glee have displaced the oldschool rebellion of The Breakfast Club. But using a grand cast to cash in, is just not done. Also, Glee actually does covers well.
The movie shamelessly abuses its rockstar cast. Everybody is totally wasted, except Tom Cruise who reaches his Les Grossman (Tropic Thunder) heights — but Owen Wilson already done it, brah (check Zoolander). Alec Baldwin and Ru ssell Brand are immune to bad writing but soul diva Mary J Blige’s entry is totally predictable.
The grand sets and choreography are pointless because the frame can find room only for the singing superstar’s face. Was the final cut a Guitar Hero playoff between agents, managers and the studio? The songs are at times a part of the narrative; at others according to some secret golden ratio for musical plots. It’s less logical than Hindi films from ’90s. All prepped to cheer as you did with The Muppet Movie, Hairspray, even Mamma Mia!? YouTube Neil Patrick Harris’ 2011 Tony Awards opening number instead of buying a Rock of Ages ticket.