Trailer Tuesday: Rock of Ages
Let's be honest. When it comes to the theatre, "scavenged" pop and rock jukebox musicals aren't exactly cerebrally challenging high art. Plus, their formula is pretty standard:
1) Take some foot-tapping songs that are already massive hits.
2) Place said music in some kind of order.
3) If you're telling a fictional tale (instead of, say, a musician's life story), link the tracks with some tepid, barely outlined tale of free spirits, typically trying to overcome stifling conformity through the power of music.
And there you have it. That's exactly how We Will Rock You was structured. Mamma Mia! demonstrated the same bohemian spirit at least. And then there's Rock of Ages, the "manliest" musical around, sampling hits from long-haired 80s rock and metal bands like Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Poison and Twisted Sister. Well, Hollywood caught whiff of this crowd-pleaser and very soon we'll be able to watch an all-star movie version of Rock of Ages!
Helmed by choreographer-turned-filmmaker Adam (Hairspray) Shankman, Rock of Ages centres on 2 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young people (Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta) who, in 1987, arrive in Hollywood to pursue their dreams of success in the entertainment industry. They end up working in a notorious Sunset Strip nightclub called the Bourbon Room, run by a shaggy Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, but their aspirations - professional and romantic - take a knock when a conservative politician's wife (Catherine Zeta Jones) campaigns to get the "sinful" club shut down. Then there's rock megastar Stacee Jax (Tom Cruise), whose decision to perform at the Bourbon Room puts even more of a spotlight on the issue. Bryan Cranston, Paul Giamatti, Mary J Blige and Malin Akerman round out the cast.
Like I said, I don't think anyone will be watching Rock of Ages for its derivative plot. It's all about the feelgood tunes, fun and energy, baby... even if it has a definite cheesy Guitar Hero vibe about it.
Rock of Ages releases in North America on 15 June. The film opens in South Africa on 6 July.