In 1987 the hair was big, the walkman a revelation, and taking a Greyhound cross country in pursuit of your dreams an everyday occurrence. A lot has changed since then; as for the music, its withstood the test of time.
Featuring an obliterating cast of A-listers, Adam Shankman's Rock of Ages tells the story of a small town girl and a big city guy, both in high pursuit of their dreams in the heart of it all - Hollywood. But love never comes easy. Faced with countless obstacles and a dose of a misunderstanding, the duo must throw their reservations to the wind as they battle through life while rocking to some of the biggest tracks of the 1980s.
Containing more lyrics and notes than actual dialogue, Rock of Ages is a musical through and through. Adapted from the Tony nominated Broadway play by the same name, Ages takes a unique route to success by using all pre-release tracks. That's right, there isn't a single original song as each is 'borrowed' from a legendary 'hair band.' This provides for immediate recognition, and the occasional sing-along moment that is sure to ignite fans.
The film does lean towards the comedy side of things (a rarity with any musical) and often takes the opportunity to laugh at itself. I will admit that a few of the side stories appeared a bit forced, especially that between Baldwin's Dupree and Brand's Lonny. And while the film really does rely on your admiration for the music, the story is able to hold itself together and use its actors to give the feature a bit of depth.
Tom Cruise, my biggest question mark going in, was outstanding as the unbelievable Stacee Jaxx. His on-screen persona bore an extreme sense of irony as he brought a male diva to the screen unlike anything I've ever seen before. Not only was he unmanageable, but Cruise's Jaxx was a downright douche. Though he is promptly displayed in every trailer, he is a supporting player, with Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta leading the way as our love interests.