When details about a big screen adaptation of musical Rock Of Ages emerged, the prospect of Tom Cruise as an Eighties hair metal star and Alec Baldwin playing a world weary rock venue manager sounded hilariously bad. And now, having seen the trailer, I can confirm that Tom Cruise as an Eighties hair metal star and Alec Baldwin playing a world weary rock venue manager is hilariously bad. That said, there’s a redemptive self-awareness about the hilarious badness of this project.
Director Adam Shankman (Hairspray) is clever enough to know that a movie-musical featuring the music of Twisted Sister and Whitesnake is camp as hell in conceit alone, so it appears he’s kept his tongue permanently housed in his cheek for this movie. Catherine Zeta-Jones, for example, plays a drag-ish version of the draconian anti-dancing Reverend from Footloose with over-the-top relish. And with classic hits and terrible/awesome guilty pleasures from 1970s-80s I have to admit it seems kinda fun.
Ultimately, while it looks hilariously bad I think the movie knows that that is the whole point – how else could you portray an era that is famous for being hilariously bad?!
‘Rock of Ages’ arrives in theaters on June 1, 2012. It will probably either be a giant flop or massive hit. Either way, I’m in for sure.