‘Rock of Ages’ rocks…sorta

By Katie Finlon

Devil horns, Twisted Sister and musical numbers? Rock on!

Rock of Ages is based on a musical that laments on the glories of ’80s hair metal. The movie, directed by Hairspray’s Adam Shankman, certainly reflects the cheesiness.

The movie begins with Sherrie (Julianne Hough), a pretty blonde from Oklahoma, on a Hollywood-bound bus. She performs a beautiful rendition of Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian,” and the medley ends with Poison’s “Nothin’ but a Good Time.”

Sherrie gets a job as a waitress at the Bourbon Room — a Sunset Strip metal club — and starts falling for the beer stock guy and aspiring rock singer, Drew (Diego Boneta).

The city’s mayor (Bryan Cranston) and his uptight and provocative wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) then make their campaign to close the Sunset Strip for good because it breeds the city’s sins. In their efforts, they begin to target the Bourbon Room and its owner, Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin).

I personally had a hard time taking Baldwin seriously in an ’80s rocker wig. The role of disgruntled Bourbon Room owner screamed Joe Cocker eons before Alec Baldwin. However, Russell Brand couldn’t have been more perfect for the role of Baldwin’s snarky sidekick Lonny Barnett in his natural tongue-in-cheek rock star demeanor.

The movie as a whole was slow-moving, especially while sitting through Zeta-Jones’s rendition of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” complete with awkwardly choppy choreography. I didn’t particularly enjoy sitting through rock ballad after rock ballad, either.

Enter Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, the Axl Rose-esque rock god of the Sunset Strip.

Cruise was surprisingly perfect for the role, and I was blown away when he belted Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Even for just a moment, one sees what Rock of Ages should’ve been all the way through.

The movie ends with a show-stopping cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” sung by the cast.

Overall, despite its momentary lag, this movie is worth seeing. And, let the records show, I proudly walked into the theater with a side ponytail and my “Save Ferris” shirt, ready to rock on.