Saw it at a preview. I was really looking foward to it because the trailer for Magic Mike was the best thing about Rock of Ages! But it's got too much bad soap opera talking in it, and Tatum Channing is not the lead despite playing Magic Mike, they keep pushing the Pettyfer character "the Kid" forward. Channing's story as Magic Mike and more dancing and more about the challenges of being a male stripper would have been a great movie. This one does not work outside of the great dance scenes and great music, and so falls very flat because there is nothing going on when Channing is pushed to the side. The guys look fantastic, and McConaughey and Manginello steal every scene they are in, clothed or not, they are alive! But sadly, Pettyfer is the opposite of a star, he's a black hole where all interest and life disappear. There is nothing there on the screen when he's on it, and it really slows the action down to nothing. Given this big chance to shine, why is he so very turned off, so lifeless on the screen? So sad when you have Channing and all these really amazing actors and hot bodies to show, to waste any of it on Pettyfer. Disappointing, and really sad, could have been so much better!!! Please go back and re-edit this to give us a story that we care about!
Saw this Sat night in NYC, where we got 20 minutes of trailers just before the movie, some guy in the audience stood up and said, Stop the commercials, run the **** movie - and they did! Are other cities getting killed with an endless stream of trailers before this movie? The biggest cheer of the night went to the first trailer - for Iron Man 2, with Downey and Mickey Rourke. Hey, how about Mickey Rourke as Moriarity in the next Holmes film? He would just be amazing! The greatest thing in this Sherlock Holmes movie is Robert Downey Jr, who in time will give Jeremy Brett a run for the money as the best Holmes ever. The weak links are the messy story and the sadly usual Guy Ritchie directing tics (slow-mo fights, Celtic music underscoring fights, weird use of Irish accents in the mouths of London poor people - what's up with that nonsense? Hey Guy, afraid to admit that the English are more brutal than the Irish or the Yanks? Cause they were and are, and you need a director that at least cares about the truth to make a film work). I vote for an all-American cast and an American director next time for a really good film, enough with the slow, second rate Brits and the messy, boring story in this one. Jude Law was a disappointment, it was just got dull every time he was on camera, but Robert Downey rocked it. Hope the next one has a plot that works throughout and is not rushing through a plot summary in the last 20 minutes, and a great Prof Moriarity to combat Holmes, and that a good American actor takes that role, wow that would really rock.
This ain't no Titanic, so I won't be seeing it again or buying the DVD. In fact, I want a t-shirt saying "I survived Avatar, and I want my 2 hours 40 minutes of the future back!" It's not the hyped future of film either, more like a backward step for video games - it's a 3 hour, noninteractive trailer for the game. Yeah, I saw the 3D version of the film with the bells and whistles. It looks roughly edited, with some continuity problems and bad cuts, and it's at least 30 minutes too long. I started looking at my watch about 1 hour in. But the big problems are:
1. The story - does not work, as so many have commented. The assumption that the tribe is good and the corporate people are bad is 30 years out of date. We've grown beyond these cut and dried war stories, life is more complicated than that. How about figuring out a mutual pact to survive? Oh, but that would not leave room for the big, unnecessary 5 o'clock battle number. Shucks.
2. The promotion of smoking. About 2% of scientists now smoke, so why is the lead scientist in the really smart and technically advanced future engaging in this deathly nonsense addiction? It doesn't make her tough, real or smart, just stupid and stupider, and not what she should have been, that is, a person with 2 brain cells rubbing together. Does McDonald's know about the promotion of smoking, re the Avatar Happy Meal toys? For shame for selling cigarettes to the audience, and especially to kids. Let's not speculate that the tobacco lobby paid for product placement, cause that would be corporate influence on this pure story highlighting the evil of big bad corporations, so that can't be true, right?
3. The lead's obvious Australian accent - what's up with that? FYI - in Australia, in 2009, the paralyzed Jake Sully would get state of the art treatment due to their healthy and intelligent policy of universal healthcare, so are we supposed to think that in the future, the Aussies will decline to the US system of people having to prove they can pay before gaining access to care? And how many ex-Marines have Australian accents? I know this is fantasy land, but these important points destroy any chance of believing this story from the get go, even in a small way. Why does the lead have this strange accent, if he's a wounded Marine left paralyzed due to his lack of ability to pay for the available therapy that would let him walk again?
4. What inconsistent god is this? The Eywey (Yahweh) in this story gets prayers before an animal is killed and eaten - but when scores of soldiers are killed by the same tribe, no prayers for them. What's up with that? And we are carefully told that the tribe's god is a life force present in everything and does not take sides, so why show us our hero as a tribesman praying before the battle? We know that this god does not take sides! Makes no sense, was it supposed to? Not sure what type of god this tribe is worshipping, but it's a pretty confusing god to us mere viewers out there. Those of us who are still awake, that is (I was beginning to nod off, so may be I missed the big moment where this god favored the tribe to win the overly promoted big battle to come).
5. All the CGI is real pretty, and the first 20 minutes of 3D is real nice, but in the end, we only care about the humans, and this is never more clear when we see the CGI character cradling the human at the end - so actors out there can calm down, there is no CGI yet to replace you, and probably never will be.
Overall: A big disappointment, it might have worked with a coherent story and a shorter run time. The pro-smoking propaganda makes the sledgehammer anti-corporate message a sick joke. I hope that a paralyzed Australian of the future knows to go home for top class treatment whatever his or her income, just like today. I give it 20% for the music, which is the best part.