Rock of Ages: That Movie Where A Dude Sings Into A Vagina
By Alex Cranz
Things I witnessed in Rock of Ages:
- Tom Cruise pubes.
- Dude singing into a woman’s bum hole and later her vagina (she was wearing undies)
- Lady sticking an impossibly long tongue into a dude’s ear.
- More Tom Cruise pubes.
- Two men kissing (which prompted some homophobes to loudly gag and run out of the theater and hopefully into oncoming traffic).
- Mary J. Blige as a Magic Negro strip club owner. Seriously. Her only role is to make a white chick feel better…and also to entice her into stripping in the first place.
- A few more Cruise pubes for the road because dang Adam Shankman was in love with Tom Cruise’s body and I’m not complaining. I love me some Top Gun too but at some point couldn’t he have let the camera worship someone else?
- A very engaging Fosse rip off dance number in a strip club.
- A Latino used as a punch line.
- Diego Boneta’s perfectly sculpted chin and beautiful hair and if he wasn’t so glossy looking I’d be in lust with him.
From this you can infer that this film is a wealth of depravity, groin hair and subversive racism.
Only it really isn’t (okay the subversive racism is definitely there and it’s uncomfortable as hell to watch). This is a slick, mildly raunchy, highly manufactured musical based off a “jukebox” stage musical. For those unfamiliar jukebox musicals are the most heinous creations ever formed. They’re why we have Glee, Smokey Joe’s Cafe and half the musicals on Broadway currently. They’re a series of popular songs wrapped up in a gossamer thin plot and usually sung quite abely by young actors needing to pay the rent.
Every once in a while something good comes from it all. A few quality episodes of Glee and the frothy fun of Mamma Mia come to mind, but for the most part they exemplify the creative bankruptcy every faltering writer you know will bitch about. Where once Broadway musicals made the hits now they’re playing catch up. Trolling Sirius radio stations to capture the zeitgeist of a new age.
Naturally Adam Shankman looked at all the wonderful musicals begging for an adaptation and then rolled over and died and selected this one. It’s only redeeming qualities are the exuberant performances of it’s cast. The dancing is all Fosse light fare and the music is basically the Saturday night playlist of my college years. It’s decent music, but hardly possessing the kind of grand cathartic beats necessary of musical.
But you know what? There’s a number featuring Tom Cruise and Malin Ackerman that is so balls to the wall silly and they commit to it so fully that I can’t entirely hate the film. In fact I’d go so far as to recommend it. This is a movie you rent on the weekend. You and your friends all throw on pajamas and crack open a couple of bottles of wine or beer and you riff on the move the whole way through. Odds are your inebriated friends guffawing at people singing Poison with gravity will be much more entertaining than actually watching two people sing “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” like it actually means something.
But don’t get up for a bathroom break until after Tom Cruise shows up. He is, without a doubt, the best part of the film. He turns a minor and relatively unlikable character into something bordering on a drunken demigod. And while Julianne Hough doesn’t dance (seriously why did they not give her ONE epic dance number but give Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand a waltz?), Bryan Cranston is wasted and Catherine Zeta Jones is a shadow of the actress of the early aughts Tom Cruise is pushing fifty and putting in one of the more entertaining performances I’ve seen on film this year.
Too bad it’s in Rock of Ages.