The pop music of the 1980s was full of Rock 'n' Roll anthems void of any deep meaning or political activism. Bands like Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi and the Scorpions filled arenas with loud but melodic hit songs. Most were about partying too hard, but the bands' softer love songs expanded their fan base.
"Rock of Ages"began off-Broadway as a musical tribute to the pop songs of that decade. It's now a flashy bauble of a movie that is really a series of MTV style videos connected by contrived plot devices.
The story is set in a fictional nightclub on the Sunset Strip. A-list actors play several roles with real zest. They include Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti and Catherine Zeta-Jones. But it's Tom Cruise who steals the show as a legendary decadent rock star of the era, who actually sings his own tunes.
Cruise does a worthy job on Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" and Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." Zeta-Jones is very snappy singing Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." The whole enterprise is full of high energy and good humor. But the sexy dancing and adult references strain the PG-13 rating.