Rock of Ages - Movie Review

Set in the 80s, small town girl, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough), travels to L.A. to make it big as a singer. However things don't go as planned when she gets mugged right off the bat. She meets Drew Boley (Diego Boneta), a busboy from the Bourbon Room, who tries to catch the thief but fails. Drew convinces his boss, Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) to give Sherrie a job as a waitress and their romance blossoms. The Bourbon Room is in danger of shutting down though due to unpaid taxes and is also a target for Mayor Mike Whitman (Bryan Cranston) and his crazy religious conservative wife with a grudge, Patricia Whitman (Catherine Zeta-Jones), for his plan to clean up the city. In a last desperate attempt to raise the money, Dupree and his right-hand man Lonny Barnett (Russell Brand), arrange for Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), the lead singer in the band Arsenal, to perform the band's last stint there before Stacee breaks off into a solo career. Things go terribly wrong for everyone that night with Sherrie and Drew splitting up due to a misunderstanding, and all the profit from the gig got swiped by Jaxx's sleazy manager, Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti). What makes matters worse, Sherrie and Drew both quit from the Bourbon Room and end up doing things they hate. Can love prevail and save the lovebirds and the end of rock n' roll on Sunset Strip? (The answer is yes.)

Having seen the Rock of Ages musical when it was in town in May, I must say I was looking forward to seeing the movie and reliving the 80s all over again. The plot of the movie is a bit different than the musical and some of the songs were also sang by different characters. Some characters were removed from the movie and some added such as Jaxx's manager and the Rolling Stones journalist, Constance Sacks (Malin Ackerman). Stacee Jaxx was also not made out to be the villain as much as in the musical. I actually liked how Tom Cruise portrayed him all loopy, like he was high all the time. Didn't like the character at first but he really grew on me as the movie progressed. I found that reasons for protests against the Bourbon Room was a little weaker in the movie than in the musical. I felt that it wasn't quite resolved at the end. However, setting that aside, Rock of Ages was a movie I enjoyed. The songs were great and the cast were pretty good at singing! Catherine Zeta-Jones was slightly stiff though. If you like 80s music, you'll probably enjoy it as well! It doesn't take itself very seriously and was fun and entertaining to watch. Leave the kids at home though.

As an extra treat, the Warner Brothers team put on a surprise after party at Roxyburger for us Vancouver screeners! There were free drinks, appetizers, and swag and people dressed up in 80s clothing and 80s music blasting in the background. Good times. Unfortunately my phone had died and I didn't get any photos. =(

Rock of Ages is in theatres this Friday, June 15, 2012. Rock on.

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