Directed by Adam Shankman, who is best-known for directing the 2007 remake of Hairspray famously starring John Travolta as a plump female dancer, so he has film-making experience of this type. Written by a total of 3 screenwriters containing the original musical writer Chris D'Arienzo, the film focuses on two main characters: Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough), a small-town girl from Tulsa, Oklahoma with a lot of dreams to make it big in LA. The second is Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) a super-famous rockstar dealing with typical rocker's depression and lyrics writer's block. Though the movie fails to interpret the characters' backgrounds well. They also do not succeed in balancing their roles.
Secondly, being a rock musical with something distinct to offer, it actually becomes predictable after the first half-hour. Taylor Swift was considered before Hough for her the main role but even though she has a better voice, she doesn't have the beauty or dance moves to shine on-screen. Although, their acting might be identical as Hough definitely needs training. She can't even cry right (in the rain!). Her boyfriend, played by newbie Diego Boneta acted exceptionally with lesser experience. The conclusion was there for the forecasting from the start. The trailer was solid but the material did not give as showcased:
However, the music playlist was brilliantly selected. All singers performed in top-notch form, also worth mentioning that they're actors by profession. Popular 80s themes are featured such as Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison, Paradise City by Guns N' Roses, and the best performance being Wanted Dead or Alive by Cruise, originally by the internationally renown band Bon Jovi.
Also, Cruise outshines everybody else in his drinking and singing persona. This was the highest fitting feat of a rockstar I have seen. No actor could've mentally dug into his role like Cruise. And his dialogues were the best of the entire script. That being impressive as he had quite a few lines. His singing was also number one having practiced just above three months.
In conclusion, based in the American Dream go-getter destination Los Angeles with dirty and leather-wearing crowds, church protesters against Satanic Rock, and over-lit streets, Rock of Ages is an above-average musical. Having grossed just $50m worldwide off a budget of $75m it still had one of the highest openings for a musical ever. Surprised it did not make at least $100m featuring the likes of pop singer Mary J. Blige, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti and English comedian and ex-husband of Katy Perry, Russell Brand.
Rotten Tomatoes: 41%.