Depending on where your box office allegiances lie, you may or may not have heard of the recent film adaptation of West End and Broadway musical Rock Of Ages. If you have, then chances are you might have given it a miss since its June 16th release as a result of the 47% critics’ average on Metacritic or indeed the 41% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes- you certainly wouldn’t be in the minority, seeing as the new flick has been steadily dropping down the charts nationwide.
Hold up for just a few moments, though, as I have reason to state that you’re wrong to dismiss this new musical instalment so fast. There are a number of reasons why Rock Of Ages actually seems to have confused critics, and indeed why this source of confusion and alleged mediocrity may have skewered their ratings for the film. If you as a film viewer just open your mind to the idea of seeing it and heed the five justifications I’m about to give you for doing so, then you may just be surprised to find you’ll have stumbled upon one of the Summer Of Film’s surprise hits…
1. Wanted Serious Or Alive
One primary factor of film critiques that are laid upon us from the professionals nowadays is that of how seriously a film takes itself and how efficiently it applies its dark and mature tones to its direction and narrative. You only need to look at some of the harsh 3-star reviews for Avengers Assemble with its peppy, upbeat yet brilliant superhero antics, scores quite likely based on the fact that comic-book films are rarely taken seriously by critics, to see that even if a film has gained mass approval from its mainstream audience that does not necessarily mean critics will react to it in the ‘right’ way.
While I’m not trying to say any critic is fundamentally wrong in their own opinion (as long as they put the evidence there, I’m willing to accept any viewpoint), I cannot deny by any stretch of the imagination the profound influence that review scores can have on consumer appeal for products and entertainment releases. As a gamer too, I see this influence demonstrated on a regular basis in the charts, but film-goers aren’t exactly averse to checking how well new flicks have done in the papers and online before shelling out around a tenner at their local cinema.
In this respect, Rock Of Ages suffers right from the off from the low-to-average review scores it has received, and to me many of the reviewers of the film so far have missed the point as to this being a fantastic homage to classic rock (i.e. the real stuff, not some of the utter rubbish ‘rock stars’ produce nowadays). This would not be a problem in my perspective if as with the likes of other musical films such as Hairspray and of course Mamma Mia, fans of the genre rolled out in full force in spite of the middling reviews, yet that ROA is getting so little attention from film fans despite actually boasting a fantastic set list and great turns from celebs like Russell Brand and Tom Cruise and newcomers Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta is a real shame. I would wager that it more than matches up to those other aforementioned musical big screen successes, and provides a neat contrast to next year’s deeper musical adaptation Les Miserables.
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