Most musicals, if not all of them, live in a realm of campy fun and high spirts. But the film version of the stage play “Rock of Ages,” while still in high energy, combined the camp with plain utter badness. The focus of the movie was unfortunately set on the unoriginal story of a boy and girl who dreamed of rock stardom and fell in love.
It sacrificed the potential of a more relevant story of the Stacee Jaxx character (Tom Cruise), who struggled with the humanism of his rock godness. Also many other stories were tone-deaf or lacked relevance with performances that stretched from phoned-in to the phone being ripped off the wall, shaken around, body-slammed, then thrown out the window as the actor screamed, “Showbiz!”
But despite the overall terrible, “Rock of Ages” shone in its numbers. It had rock anthems galore as regular singers Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta belted Journey, and newcomers like Tom Cruise wailed Bon Jovi and Def Leppard. Cruise’s commitment to the craft succeeded as he soared from his comfort zone and made this otherwise dim movie glow. No matter the energy, though, the movie rode through with an unplugged amp.