Today: May 22, 2024
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Rock Of Ages

It’s been a while since the aisles of cinema theatres across the country have been filled with the tentative dancing

It’s been a while
since the aisles of cinema theatres across the country have been filled with
the tentative dancing of the British public.
Both Hairspray and Mamma Mia
proved enormously successful with everyone from the musical fanatic to the
guilty indulger and have left an agreeably meaty period of time to let people
get excited about a new lyrical extravaganza.

After his marvellously camp 60s-set Hairspray, Adam Shankman’s back in the director’s
chair again for Rock of Ages, recruiting the impeccably flexible Julianne Hough (Burlesque, Footloose)
and the grossly hyped Zac Efron clone Diego
Boneta
as a couple of kids that fall hopelessly in love on the sticky
floors of Hollywood’s Bourbon Rooms to the songs of Foreigner, Whitesnake and
Journey.

Subplots slither in and out of our star-struck lovers
troubles and woes, with Catherine
Zeta-Jones’
God-bothering mother bent on shutting down Dennis Dupree’s (Alec Baldwin) beloved rock’n’roll
venue, Dennis and Lonny’s (Russell Brand) questionable
friendship and, of course, the tormented and untouchable Stacee Jaxx
(Xenu-cheerleader Tom Cruise).

Cruise’s first venture into the vocal arena is one that’s
been a long time coming. The leather-bound ego of a rock front-man, on
reflection, couldn’t be more suited to Cruise as a blanket of women shift to
reveal the jewel-encrusted crotch and inked torso of an unnervingly confident
human being.

Opening with Brand’s fleeting Liverpudlian tones
establishing Jaxx’s legacy, Cruise is a failsafe presence throughout, whether
miming masturbation onstage to bellowing Foreigner’s I Wanna Know What Love Is
into Malin Akerman’s nether
regions.

The rest falls pleasantly into place; Hough and Boneta and Brand
and Baldwin contend for best onscreen chemistry, Zeta-Jones is comfortably
sassy as the enemy and Paul Giamatti
fits perfectly into the suit of an oily band manager. Mary J. Blige is the only flat role out of the bunch, solely due to
the fact there’s not much point to her being there other than a massive pair of
lungs and a terrifying collection of wigs.

The film could do with a good half hour shaved off it but
it’s shameless indulgence that makes Rock of Ages thoroughly enjoyable. The
perfect remedy for an abysmal summer and a, so far, unimpressionable streak of
blockbusters, strap in for a decent cast and an unquenchable love of rock and
roll.

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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