'Sozzled' Tom Cruise doesn't rock in new film (+video)

Tom Cruise as Stacey Jaxx in Rock of Ages. Photo / Supplied
Tom Cruise as Stacey Jaxx in Rock of Ages. Photo / Supplied

A new movie starring Tom Cruise as a beefed up rock star who sings classics like Guns N' Roses' Paradise City has been panned by critics.

Rock of Ages, which hits New Zealand cinemas this week, has just a 33 per cent average on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, with one reviewer describing it as "madly silly" and "deeply goofy".

Another reviewer wanted director Adam Shankman "clobbered" for "draining most of the fun from a vehicle that was all about the winking humor of its flagrant cheesiness".

Based on a successful Broadway play that has been running since 2006, Rock of Ages is a boy-meets-girl love story soundtracked by hits from the '80s.

It has an all star cast including Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti and Alec Baldwin, and features music from Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey and Poison.

But the first reviews have been overwhelmingly negative, with The Hollywood Reporter saying Cruise was in the "plodding" film far too much.

"Cruise's quasi-mystical sozzled intensity gets wearisome. There's just too much of him," said reviewer David Rooney.

"A role that should have been a tasty extended cameo instead has been built up to crowd the headliners, and frankly, they can't withstand the competition."

Variety was kinder to Cruise, but called the film a "visually bland staging of frankly insipid material".

"Channeling the likes of Axl Rose and Keith Richards ... Cruise clearly relishes the opportunity to play against type. Whether he's turning Jon Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive into a rebel yell or ordering his fans to Pour Some Sugar on Me, the thesp socks over his singing duties with aplomb."

Other reviewers described it as "lively but decidedly overlong" and "all over the place," while a third said it "panders to Generation X 80s nostalgia".

Hear Tom Cruise cover Paradise City here.

- Herald online

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