Crock of ages

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

AS A hit stage mu­si­cal, Rock of Ages had au­di­ences in a state of fist- pump­ing, air- gui­tar­ing nir­vana from the get- go.

As a ma­jor mo­tion pic­ture, Rock of Ages won’t have many on­look­ers hold­ing a lighter aloft in trib­ute.

A gar­ish glit­ter bomb packed tight with equal amounts of brash­ness and bland­ness, ROA is DOA once the nov­elty of its stunt cast­ing of Tom Cruise as a louche rock god wears off.

This is not to knock Cruise’s por­trayal of the movie’s tent- pole char­ac­ter Stacee Jaxx, be­cause it is by far and away the best thing hap­pen­ing here.

How­ever, one break- out per­for­mance is not enough to save Rock of Ages from bring­ing on medium lev­els of te­dium in most scenes.

The screen­play hews closely to the stage ver­sion, serv­ing up a drab lit­tle love story be­tween a pair of small- timers im­pa­tiently wait­ing for their shot at the big time.

Sher­rie ( Ju­lianne Hough) and Drew ( Diego Boneta) work nights at The Bour­bon Room, the hottest mu­sic club in 1987 Los An­ge­les.

She can sing a power bal­lad like there’s no to­mor­row. He can belt out an an­them with the best of them. But both must first pay their dues.

Un­til then, they’ll draw a pay­check from The Bour­bon Room’s vet­eran rock­dog owner Den­nis Dupree ( Alec Bald­win).

Truth be told, the venue isn’t do­ing too well. The bills and the tax de­mands are pil­ing up, and the local mayor’s wife ( Cather­ine Zeta- Jones) is lead­ing a cru­sade to get the no­to­ri­ous joint shut on moral grounds.

As Den­nis in­forms his right- hand man, the Bri­tish tal­ent booker Lonny ( Rus­sell Brand), it is make- or- break time. If Stacee Jaxx doesn’t come and play a promised show, it will be last drinks for The Bour­bon Room.

It must be said Cruise makes quite an en­trance as Stacee, ris­ing from be­neath a pile of groupies and whiskey bot­tles to sur­vey yet an­other wasted ho­tel room.

Cruise plays the role as a rather out- there combo of Guns N’ Roses front­man Axl Rose and Mar­lon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz from Apoc­a­lypse Now.

The dude talks in unan­swer­able rid­dles, and seems per­pet­u­ally on the brink of ei­ther throw­ing up or down­ing an­other drink.

It must also be said that Cruise han­dles his singing du­ties very ca­pa­bly in­deed, with a pro- level take on Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead

or Alive be­ing the ab­so­lute stand­out. Else­where in Rock of Ages, the all- im­por­tant song fac­tor is markedly in­con­sis­tent.

Clas­sic ’ 80s num­bers played pri­mar­ily for laughs – such as a Bald­win and Brand duet on REO Speed­wagon’s I Can’t Fight

This Feel­ing – fare the best. Soft- rock stan­dards sung semi- se­ri­ously by the dull pair­ing of Hough and Boneto will have you scram­bling for the off but­ton in the car ra­dio of your mind.

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