Ok, I’ll admit it: I’m a convert. When previews for this movie first came out, I saw that Tom Cruise was the legendary superstar of the movie and made up my mind immediately that I was not going to see the movie. Famous last words! I found myself restless one Friday night and laced up my tennis shoes and trekked over to the local movie theatre. When I arrived, I scoured the movie schedule and was discouraged to see the only movie playing any time soon was Rock of Ages. Well, I love 80s music and had time to kill, so I bit the bullet and bought a ticket. And sat in the theatre with about 5 other Gen X’ers who were apparently in the same boat.
Even though the songs were understandably shortened for the movie, all the 80s rock played was thoroughly enjoyable and, much as i hate to admit it (Oh, man, you have no IDEA how much I hate to admit it!), Tom Cruise actually did justice to Bon Jovi’s “Wanted – Dead or Alive” and-I can’t believe I’m saying this-Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” I SERIOUSLY can’t believe I just wrote that! But I have to commend talent when I see it, even if it comes from someone who lost all my respect when he started getting, well, weird. I was completely unprepared to like-as a matter of fact, I was horrified sitting in the theatre when I heard the opening notes of both of these songs and realized Cruise was going to be the one singing them-his renditions of two songs by two of my top favorite bands of all time. At first, I thought the music was dubbed and he was Milli Vanilliing the song. I soon realized it was Cruise’s voice. You could have knocked me over with a feather!
Apparently, I’m not the only one completely taken aback with the realization that Cruise can sing: Entertainment Weekly
So, I will admit, Cruise did a good job in this movie. However, lest one get the wrong impression, the stars of the movie, Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough, gave great performances and completely won my cynical self over. Rather than being a means to kill a couple hours, Rock of Ages ended up being a very enjoyable movie-going experience!
The movie trailer and my two favorite songs as performed by the original artists…and Cruise, for comparison’s sake: