Tom Cruise sings!
Finally, after months of still photos and a teasing initial trailer, we get to hear rock legend Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) belt out about 4 seconds of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” It’s really too short to be able to make any kind of comments on the actor’s singing voice, but he definitely has the rock star look and swagger down pat.
Aimed more at fans of “The Voice” than aging metalheads, “Rock of Ages” is based on the hit stage musical that fearlessly mashes up hard rock songs from the 1980s
Joining Jaxx are Alec Baldwin as a sleazy promoter-type, Malin Akerman as a journalist, Mary J. Blige as a fellow performer, “Chicago” Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones as an evangelist hellbent on destroying rock music, and Paul Giamatti as a bald guy. At the heart of it all is the lovestruck/starstruck duo of Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) and Drew Boley (Diego Boneta). Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”) directed.
As one of the few cast members who can actually sing, Blige — whose controversial new ad for Burger King has been pulled from the airwaves, reportedly due to licensing problems — will hopefully have a showier role in “Rock” than is indicated here.
The trailer, with its garish look, flat one-liners and a baboon named “Hey Man,” likely won’t grab many new fans not already on board, but Cruise-as-rock star is a most intriguing proposition. The scenes where Akerman interviews him are reminiscent of “Magnolia.”
“Rock of Ages,” is of course, a musical — albeit one with no original songs, just Broadway-style re-arrangements of radio hits. Although none of them were very edgy in the first place, there’s still something uninviting about how all of the songs featured in the trailer (from Pat Benatar, Warrant, David Lee Roth, Poison, Joan Jett, et al) sound exactly the same, as if “American Idol” contestants added vocals to muzak tracks. Baldwin and Russell Banks’ duet rendition of Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll” is particularly painful, although, to be fair, it’s played for laughs.
How many songs can you cram into one two and a half minute trailer? Find out below:
What do you think of the trailer? Grade it at the top of the page.