“This place is about to become a sea of sweat, ear-shattering music and puke.”
Director: Adam Shankman
Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russel Brand and Tom Cruise
Writers: Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo and Allan Loeb
Musicals are a funny thing; in my opinion even the worst of them will have fans. It all depends on the use of songs, the characters, and how it speaks to the individual. Having said that I did not like this movie at all, but I can understand why people may dig it. The songs of the 80’s rock are catchy, and even after this movie I was humming to the songs, I just wished I could have listened to them on a CD rather than this movie.
So breaking this movie down it’s instantly ham strung by what type of musical it is. Using already existing songs the movie needs to try and fit the songs to the plot; of course with this the songs are never going to always fit perfectly. This causes a certain pause to some songs. There just isn’t a natural flow from talking scene to song. Still while this is a problem with the picture, some people are going to love the songs, and I can’t say that a few of the numbers were well done even with the break of flow.
Story wise we have the very cliché boy meets girl, troubles arise, can they overcome the troubles and get back together. We also have a subplot of rocker who has sold out trying to find the spark that got him into the business, and we also have a business owner trying to save his bar. You’ve seen this a million times before, and honestly it’s being kept broad as the music is what it’s all about. Unfortunately trying to have such a broad appeal means that interest in the story is all on the actors shoulders.
Now we get to the biggest problem, while Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta are great in the singing parts, their characters are just so bland, and they bring nothing of interest to the parts. During their scenes I was falling asleep which is never a good sign. Tom Cruise as the big rock star Stacee Jaxx has a lot of fun in the role, and I can’t disagree with some of the choices he made, but I just don’t buy Tom as the rock n roll star type. Now we get to the two that helped me through this movie. Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand steal the damn show with this movie. Every time they were on the screen I was overjoyed and more importantly laughing at their shenanigans. I wish there was more of them in the movie. Catherine Zeta Jones is pretty bad, and what’s worse she’s given some of the worst music numbers out of the entire movie.
At the end of the day I think that this fails as a movie as it doesn’t really excite and doesn’t really use the music in any witty way. People will find some enjoyment of this film, but I’m pretty sure it will be forgotten by them in the long run. If you watched the trailer and were intrigued then go ahead and watch it. If not skip them and go watch something else, maybe find an old musical to listen to.