Tom Cruise and the failure of Rock of Ages.
Rock of Ages, Tom Cruise last film (2012) has been a big failure. A gross of $50 million, a budget of $75 million… In a word: a bomb.
How is it possible? We are speaking of Tom Cruise, the star of Rain Man (1988), A Few Good Men (1992), Jerry Maguire (1996), Vanilla Sky (2001), Minority Report (2002), The Last Samurai (2003), Collateral (2004), War of the Worlds (2005) Valkyrie (2008)… and co-star of one of my favorite movies, Magnolia (1999), and the fantastic break dancer of Tropic Thunder (2008). Until now, Tom Cruise seemed a new king Midas: everything he touched turned into gold, and this year, he is Hollywood’s highest-paid actor.
However, 2012 has being a bad year for Tom Cruise. His unexpected divorce, his problems with Church of Scientology…, and now, this bomb. Has Tom Cruise ‘s gift gone forever? I don’t think so.
His performance in Rock of Ages is absolutely fantastic: believable, funny, nuanced, quirky, eccentric, worked… Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones are the light of Rock of Ages but not the main characters. The film stars country singer Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta, a bored teenage couple with a boring love story. Everybody is waiting they stop singing, disappear, and the story focus on Tom Cruise and his pet (a little monkey), Alec Baldwin (a friendly gay) or Catherine Zeta-Jones, the problematic wife of a corrupt politician.
Rock of Ages is an adaptation of the 2006 rock jukebox Broadway musical of the same name by Chris D’Arienzois. It has been directed by Adam Shankman, started production in May 2011 and released on June 15, 2012. The cast also includes Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Malin Åkerman, Mary J. Blige, and Kevin Nash The movie features the music of several 1980s rock stars including Def Leppard, Journey, Scorpions, Poison, Foreigner, Guns N’ Roses, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, Twisted Sister, and Whitesnake.
But who is the scriptwriter? In recent times nobody takes care of the scriptwriters and scripts are usually bad structured and with an evident lack of rhythm. For example, Rock of Ages employs too much time in the silly story of the two teenagers and forgets the interesting stories of the three adult co-protagonists (Cruise, Zeta, Baldwin). Furthermore, the times of music and of dialogues are bad distributed as well as the jokes. The result is an unbalanced film, with some funny minutes and some boring scenes.
In my opinion and in spite of bad critics, Tom Cruise is still one of the best actors and a very friendly man with some strange points (who doesn’t have?) and I cannot wait for his next movie, but since he is a producer too, I recommend him to take care of the scriptwriters. A bad script can ruin a film, even having the best cast, the best marketing and the best budget.
Anyway, it’s worth to see Rock of Ages but when the teenagers appeared have a book or newspaper near you to distract yourself a little.