Philippa Hawker June 14, 2012
Reviewer rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Reader rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (47 votes)
Actors: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston
Director: Adam Shankman
Screen writer: Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo, Allan Loeb
OFLC rating: M
(M) General release
ADAPTED from the stage musical constructed around the '80s world of big hair, big phones and Def Leppard numbers and directed by Adam ''Hairspray'' Shankman, this is a clunky affair that can't decide whether to send up or sentimentalise its nostalgia-laden rock'n'roll milieu. The setting is Los Angeles in 1987 - a year before Straight Outta Compton, let's remember - and the musical style is ''classic rock'', the likes of Guns N' Roses and Bon Jovi, with a little bit of Pat Benatar and Quarterflash for the ladies.
A pair of young aspiring singers, Drew (Diego Boneta) and Sherrie (Julianne Hough) are on Sunset Strip hoping for a break at the Bourbon Room, where legendary rock band Arsenal is about to play their last gig. Arsenal's frontman, Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) - jaded, out of it - is still a figure to aspire to, even if smitten Rolling Stone reporter (Malin Akerman, pictured) thinks he's a spent force.
A threadbare plot gives way to song after song. Cruise, whose faux-tattooed torso seems like a character in its own right, has a weird embalmed vibe, while Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand (as Bourbon Room proprietor and his right-hand man) seem to be enjoying themselves. The movie's gratuitous snipe at boy bands seems like a particularly cheap shot.