That 43% Rotten Tomatoes rating for Adam Shankman‘sRock of Ages obviously means that some are cutting it a break. (I love Andrew O’Hehir’s rationale that “it isn’t trying to be real — it’s trying to be faker than any fake thing has ever been before.”) But one guy who’s always been partial to musicals (and who creamed over Dreamgirls) is MCN’s David Poland, and his decision to not be kind to this spoof of the cranked-up ’80s rock scene is telling, I think.
Choice portions: (a) “Shellshockingly bad…worst wide-release film of the summer so far, going away…Project X was more coherent…such a total, horrifying waste”; (b) “I am just stunned that so much talent came to so little…scene after scene, I just couldn’t believe what I was watching…tone deaf”; (c) “Trying to analyze [this] film feels a bit like trying to dissect diarrhea…I felt physically abused by the time the movie ended, like I had suffered a bad case of Jukebox Musical’s Revenge”; (d) “It is utterly soulless…it has no joy…it has no real passion”; (e) “You really have to go back 30 years to find a movie musical this bad. And at least Grease 2 offered a young Michelle Pfeiffer. And Julianne Hough, you may have many talents but you are no young Michelle Pfeiffer.”