New in Theaters: ‘Rock of Ages’

More karaoke playlist than anything else, Rock of Ages offers glimpses of the casting genius that characterized Adam Shankman’s Hairspray. But the charismatic pros assembled here seem repeatedly constrained rather than unleashed. Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin are the picture of bewigged ludicrousness as Lonny and Dennis, who run the Bourbon Room, a Sunset Strip den of iniquity that’s more CBGBs than Whisky-a-Go-Go and has attracted the ire of the mayor’s bluestocking wife Patricia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Brand and Baldwin vamp in their “rock and roll” togs like it’s all good fun while she snarls her way through her scenes, a villain in a fresh-pressed Talbots pantsuit… 

Rock of Ages is failing to rock in theaters all across America right now. My full review is at PopMatters.

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