“Rock of Ages” tells the story of small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, who meet on the Sunset Strip even as pursuing their Hollywood dreams. Their rock ‘n’ roll romance is told through the heart-pounding hits of Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Whitesnake, and more.
Anyone with great affection for ’80s big-hair bands (Journey, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, and the rest) will be doing numerous head-bopping to Rock of Ages, the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Director Adam Shankman (Hairspray) has assembled a winning cast to tell the story of an aging rock legend, Stacee Jaxx (played with deadpan aplomb by Tom Cruise), against the I-wanna-be-a-star yearnings of a newbie, Sherrie (Julianne Hough). There’s not much of a plot, but the music is actually the star, in addition to the great supporting roles played by Catherine Zeta-Jones (Patricia, a belter with style), Paul Giamatti (Paul, a jaundiced rock promoter it appears intent on quashing everyone’s dreams), Mary J. Blige (Justice, the owner of a strip club), and Alec Stanley Baldwin, whose Dennis is a rawk-on club owner and head-banger from way back. Everyone in the cast looks like they’re having a blast, and that feeling is contagious, especially if you love the music. Some parts of Rock of Ages don’t seem to know if they’re supposed to be played in earnest or sarcastically, but in any case, it doesn’t matter. And Cruise, though his part is small, appears to be channeling late-era Axl Rose in a performance that’s a little unnerving, yet hilarious. Rock of Ages appeals to the rocker in us all. Don’t stop believin’. —A.T. Hurley
Run Time: 123
Release Date: 2/18/2014
TOM CRUISE RUSSELL BRAND