"Rock of Ages" is a musical production set during the tail end of the 1980's hair metal, rock era that includes none other than Tom Cruise in a featured role along with a star studded ensemble cast. I know, right now you're thinking...what the heck is going on here!
Surprisingly, I'm here to tell you that when you see this movie, you will be having Nothin' But a Good Time (as the song goes) from beginning to end. This is a really fun movie that focuses on throwing as much 80's music at the audience as it can fit in while telling a story that has just the right balance of satire and nostalgia.
Sherrie (Julianne Hough) is the small town girl that moves to L.A. to become a star, Drew (Diego Boneta) is the young bar back that wants to be a rock god, Dennis (Alec Baldwin) is the owner of the Bourbon Club who is trying to keep rock and roll alive, and Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) is the aging rock star that, after starting his career at the Bourbon Club, has reached near immortal status.
This movie is the story of how they are able to come together at a time when rock and roll is being looked down upon by the likes of Mayor Whitmore (Bryan Cranston) and his activist wife Patricia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). As the pair schemes to end Jaxx's career and shut down the club, Sherrie and Drew both realize their dreams may end up being pushed to the side by the hard realities of life in the big city.
Director Adam Shankman, previously known for directing Hairspray, knows exactly what to do with the entire cast from putting Cruise in a role like you've never seen before to getting the best out of supporting actors like Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Mary J Blige. He is able to inject just the right amount of humor exactly where it's needed so you never take any of this movie too seriously.
The point here is to sit back and enjoy the cast as they sing all of your favorite 80's songs from Paradise City and Pour Some Sugar on Me to Every Rose Has Its Thorn and Can't Fight This Feeling. Everyone in the movie, yes even Tom Cruise, does a decent to great job at singing their parts which was a real surprise and I have to say that Cruise is pretty freakin' awesome in this movie. For real...no joke.
"Rock of Ages" really brings to life the sex, drugs, and rock and roll mantra that carried bands like Def Leppard, Guns and Roses, Foreigner, and Journey through one of the more interesting decades in the history of music. Taking this era and creating a musical that actually works is no small task, but the entire cast and crew pull it off brilliantly.