Review: ‘Rock of Ages’ (M) ★★ ½

I APPROACHED Adam Shankman’s film adaptation of Chris Darenzio’s Broadway musical with trepidation. It’s not my kind of music and what I’ve seen of Tom Cruise in recent years has not charmed me.

In 1987, Sherrie (Julianne Hough) arrives from Oklahoma ready to take the Sunset Strip singing business by storm. She’s fresh off the bus when a bad guy snatches her suitcase but not to worry because Drew (Diego Boneta) spots her and offers to find her a waitressing job in the Bourbon Room run by Dennis (Alec Baldwin) and his sidekick Lonny (Russell Brand).

Expectations are high because Arsenal with bad-boy lead singer Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) is booked for a gig there. And Stacee is a magnet for every wide-open groupie in the country.

“Rolling Stone” reporter Constance (Malin Akerman) wheedles out Stacee’s inner demons. Stacee’s manager (Paul Giamatti) dumps him and tries to book Sherrie, whom Drew believes to have graced Stacee’s bed. Uptown, the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta Jones) is whipping up the fury of the religious righteous femocracy against rock music.

The plot treads a well-travelled track. The principal cast is up to the task. Cruise sings up a storm. In the 1980’s rock environment, vocabulary, exposure of flesh and sexuality generally get a rather demure treatment. The noisy songs began as 1980s hits, with words seldom more than four letters.

 

At Greater Union and Dendy

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