Rock n’ Roll lives on in Rock of Ages

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Rock n’ Roll is in full force in this 80’s rock musical and Broadway hit “Rock of Ages.”  Stars such as Julianne Hough,  Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Cruise, and Alec Baldwin sing some of the classic 80’s songs such as Pat Benetar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive, and Poison’s Nothin’ But a Good Time. All the actors and actresses clearly had musical talent, and it was nice to see them sing and dance to these chart topping hits.

The most outstanding performances came from Cruise and Zeta-Jones. Cruise plays the typical 80’s rocker, who is a bit confused about life outside of his Rock n’ Roll band Arsenal. He also seemed to accurately capture the essence of a true lead singer on stage. Because Cruise had long hair and was wearing a bandana across his forehead, he reminded me of Axl Rose from Guns and Roses. Cruise even sang a classic Guns and Roses’ song Paradise City to help complete his appearance. Zeta-Jones who isn’t a stranger to musicals as she did play Velma Kelly in “Chicago,” knew how to capture the spirit of this musical through her dancing and singing abilities.

In this movie, Small town Oklahoma girl, Sherrie Christian, played by Hough moves to Hollywood to become a singer, and she meets Drew Boley played by Diego Boneta there as well.  Drew gets Sherrie a job at the Bourbon Room, a bar/club where a bunch of 80’s rock bands perform. The owner of the Bourbon Room, Dennis Dupree, played by Baldwin finds that his club is not making ends meet financially, so he hires Stacee Jaxx played by Cruise and his band Arsenal to perform at the club. However, the band is on the brink of a break up due to the fact that Stacie wants a solo career. So the show at the Bourbon Room threatens to be the last for Arsenal.

Sherrie and Drew fall in love, but they end up breaking up because Drew thought that Sherrie had slept with Stacie. After the heartbreak, Drew pursues his own rock career, but ends up joining a boy band. Sherrie becomes a stripper instead of a singer. In the midst of this, the mayor’s wife Patty Wortham played by Zeta-Jones wants to get rid of Rock n’ Roll from the Hollywood strip because she feels that is damaging to the city’s youth, so she tries to close down the Bourbon Room with a group of Christians. However, the audience will soon learn that her real intention is seeking revenge on Stacee Jaxx.

Although this movie is rated PG-13, I must warn parents that this movie is probably not suited for children under 18 years old. Because this movie mainly focuses on 80’s glam metal, it was a bit provocative in some scenes. For example, part of the movie is set in a strip club when Sherrie becomes a stripper. The scenes do not have nudity, but the girls are dancing on poles, and their clothing is very revealing. Some scenes with Stacie has quite a bit of sexuality especially since he has  groupies and begins a love affair with Rolling Stones reporter Constance Sack played by Malin Akerman.

If you are an 80’s rock fan like me, then you should see this movie. The music was so well done that I had a hard time sitting in my seat. I just wanted to stand up and sing the songs, and I was even giving some horns in my seat. Based on the fact that the ending song of this musical was Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, it is obvious that the underlying message is to never give up on your dreams. Not only is this movie entertaining, but it is also very humorous, and it kept a smile on my face.

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