Glee is killing the entertainment industry. Because of that wretched network television series, we’re being bombarded with horrible movies by studio execs who believe that the only thing necessary for success are montages of crappy covers of old songs that feature the weak unoriginal vocal styles of today’s pop music. The classic musicals of old are being bastardized by these piece of recycled effortless garbage that are currently being forced upon us. We saw it in 2010 with Burlesque. We saw it again last year with that awful Footloose remake. And now we’re getting a blend of those two turds set to the buttrock of the ’80s with Rock of Ages.
Being titled Rock of Ages, you’d think that the movie would feature a wide span of rock n’ roll from the actual “ages” – but that’s not the case. ’80s buttrock is the only genre to clog this drain. Whoever wrote Rock of Ages put more effort into cramming in pointless ’80s hits than creating a worthwhile story. More than 25 songs that were original once-upon-a-time are featured, yet not a single original storyline is applied. In fact, more than a few of the songs feature lyrics that have absolutely nothing to do with the story at hand, as if they were stuffed in just to say, “Hey, remember this song that you listened to 25 years ago, but quickly forgot about because it was crap?”
I am baffled as to how Julianne Hough is getting these leading roles. Is it simply because she can dance? Is she the next Zac Efron? Or is it because she’s the girlfriend of tycoon Ryan Seacrest? The one thing that’s certain is that she cannot act, which I was more than eager to point out during her community theatre-esque performance in Footloose. Sadly, she’s not any better here, yet someone still decided to give her the leading role in this jumbled mess.
Here’s the convoluted plot to Rock of Ages: Hough moves to Hollywood to get a dream job singing buttrock. Right after getting off the bus, her record collection is stolen and a pretty-boy bartender at the hottest rock club helps her out, gets her a job and the two fall in love. Alec Baldwin owns the club and Russell Brand is his sidekick, but they’re in trouble because they owe back-taxes (between this and That’s My Boy, why is this a reoccurring theme?). So they bring in Axel Rose-ish rocker (Tom Cruise) for his last show with his band before kicking off a solo career. Cruise is a stereotypical “out there” rocker with a dick manager (Paul Giamatti) who thinks that Hough’s boy-toy would make a great addition to his label. All the while, we get a few scenes of Mayor Bryan Cranston’s zealot wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) plotting to shut down the club. Malin Akerman shows up halfway through the movie as a reviewer for Rolling Stone magazine on assignment to interview Cruise. Wackiness follows. Stupidity that doesn’t carry any weight ensues, including an angry monkey, boy bands and a “stripper with a heart of gold.”
There were two things that I liked about Rock of Ages; the first being the performances of Malin Akerman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tom Cruise. Akerman is adorable, Zeta-Jones seems to be the only one who’s aware of what type of movie she’s in (so she hams it up perfectly), and Cruise is awesome – not so much at playing his silly character, but at singing. Who knew the dude could sing?!
The second thing that I liked about Rock of Ages was the peace-giving knowledge that I will never have to watch it again. As the closing credits began rolling, a calm settled over me. It was over. I had made it through the horrifying journey, one that I would never have to make again. Lucky is the person who never has to make it in the first place.
Photo credit: New Line Cinema