A couple of weeks ago I took part in the Rock Of Ages tweet along which entailed watching the film, whilst tweeting about it at the same time with other reviewers. Although I had heard good things about the stage version of Rock of Ages, I had never actually seen it, and so I was looking forward to seeing how the film would pan out. It helped that those nice people at Warner Brothers had provided me with a wig and plastic guitar sugar to rock out to, which I did with gusto at several points throughout the film. The film is set in the eighties, and as an eighties girl myself, I had a good feeling that I would enjoy this film. I was not disappointed when the film started with the song paradise city by guns and roses - one of my ultimate eighties rock songs.
Rock of Ages is a little like a cross between glee meets grease, but with a rock twist. The film focuses on country singer Sherrie, and bar worker Drew, and scenes are set around 'The Bourbon Rooms' - a rock club on the Sunset Strip owned by Dennis Dupree and his assistant Lonny. Dupree hires famous singer Stacee Jaxx to play in the hope of raising enough money to keep the failing club open, however, there are twists and turns along the way which culminate in a happy ending for most of the characters. I thought that Sherrie and Drew - the two main characters in the film were played really well, though I would have liked a little more of their back story as I wondered why Sherrie would rather work as a stripper than go home and face whatever was there. All of the actors cast in the film were phenomenal. Alec Baldwin was great as Dennis Dupree and Catherine Zeta Jones as conservative Patricia is also great. Tom Cruise as Tracey Jaxx is outstanding. I have always been a bit of a Tom Cruise fan and I was interested surprised to discover that he also knows how to play the guitar! Russell Brand gives an amazing performance too. Even though inevitably typecast, Russell plays up to this role really well and is entirely convincing in his performance. Then there's the monkey - you have to love the monkey. Although I have a problem with the whole 'animals in clothing' thing, the partnership between Tom and the monkey was really amazing and hilarious at the same time.
The film is rated as a 12, which I was quite surprised about as there as a lot of suggestive nudity and scenes that personally, I felt I would not let my 12 year old see. However, this would be a great film to watch with friends - just grab a few long haired wigs, plastic guitars, and a bucketful of popcorn, and you will be away- singing 'Don't Stop Believing' all night.
Although hard core rock and roll lovers might find the film a little tame for their liking, Rock of Ages would make a fantastic Christmas present or gift for anyone who enjoyed the eighties era and loves rock music.
Our Verdict: 9 out of 10 - a fun film that many people would connect with.
Disclosure: A copy of the film was offered in consideration of review