Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: 'Rock of Ages' loves rock 'n' roll

By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Put another dime in the jukebox, baby, because this bawdy, boisterous ode to '80s rock is head-banging good fun, much of it driven by Tom Cruise.

June 14, 2012, 6:59 p.m.
A triumph of genial impudence over good sense and better taste, "Rock of Ages"is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. Blessed with unstoppable energy, an undeniably bawdy sense of fun and Tom Cruise in backless leather pants, it takes songs you may never have loved and turns them into a musical that's easy to enjoy.

Those tunes, undying anthems like Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is," come courtesy of the 2009 musical tribute to 1980s rock that was nominated for five Tonys and is still playing on Broadway.

Enthusiastically directed by "Hairspray's" Adam Shankman and written by play writer Chris D'Arienzo with help from Justin Theroux and Allan Loeb, the movie "Rock of Ages" adds characters and tinkers with the personalities of others, but the core of the enterprise remains the same.

Its essential sweetness leavened by knowing winks, "Rock of Ages" succeeds as well as it does because of its unlikely combination of a guileless, thunderously clichéd boy-meets-girl plot structure conveyed in a sophisticated, showbiz-savvy style.

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