Thursday, June 14, 2012
ROCK OF AGES
Hough (Dancing with the Stars) who is known more for her dancing than her singing will probably continue to be after this movie. She has chops, but she's not the showstopper she would need to be to make this her star-making role. However, the camera loves her and she has the angelic face of the country girl in the big city that make her a perfect fit. As Drew, the boy she falls in love with, Diego Boneta is even blander, but not too much to bring the movie down with him, and his boy band excursion is one of the film's highlights.
In the end though, it's the veteran stars that keep this ball bouncing even when no one's singing. Catherine Zeta-Jones is a hoot as a political wife rallying against the sex, drugs and rock and roll on the Sunset strip. The camp factor is probably at its height when she's joined by a group of ladies to cover Pat Benetar in a church. Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand are both hysterical as guys that run The Bourbon, a hip spot on the strip, where most of the action takes place. Baldwin is a joy to watch in anything these days and Brand is essentially playing an 80's version of himself (which isn't all that different as it happens), but that's not really a complaint.
The real draw, especially in terms of curiosity is, of course, Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. He doesn't disappoint either. He manages to ooze sex yet still be hilarious and does surprisingly well with the vocals. He may not be able to wail like Bon Jovi, but he does a more than satisfying job. He's so good he never gets upstaged by his monkey sidekick and his scenes with Malin Ackermann as a Rolling Stone reporter profiling him are some of the sexiest in the film. Ackermann, in her tight miniskirt and sky-high Reagan-era perm, is exactly the kind of "reporter" you would expect to see in a White Snake video, complete with "brainy" glasses that are begging to be ripped off at just the right moment when she's writhing on top of a Mustang. Mary J. Blige is in full diva mode as the matron of a strip club where Sherrie ends up working at one point. Her primary reason for being in the movie is to look fabulous, (her wigs seem to change every time the camera cuts to her) and do some soulful wailing on the big group numbers. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.