Plotlines like the Mayor wanting to close down the club and Drew's career as a boyband member are picked up and discarded whenever it's time to try and shoehorn in another rock anthem - many of which don't even fit with the storyline.
The two leads - Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta - are both pleasant on the ears but don't really do enough to show off that X Factor. The impressive supporting cast of Zeta Jones, Giamatti, Brand and Baldwin simply don't have enough to do, although it is nice to find out that none of them sing like an amputee (can't hold a note, can't carry a tune).
Thank the Maker then for Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. The Cruiser always gives 100% and he dives into the world of rock and roll with gusto. He's often best when he is playing a supporting role (Tropic Thunder, Magnolia) and there is a lot of Frank T.J. Mackey channeled into the enigmatic rock legend whose star may be growing dim. The entire Rolling Stone feels like a repeat of a scene in Magnolia, except for the part when Cruise and Akerman duet on the film's highlight 'I Wanna Know What Love Is' whilst getting down and dirty in the green room. While the song is excellent, the staging of it (the two have sex whilst remaining semi-clothed) highlights the problem with the film and it's family friendly 12A certificate. Rather ironically, it isn't very rock and roll at all. There's a distinct lack of the sex, drugs and profanity that was synonymous with the era.
The best movie musicals are Moulin Rouge and South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, and both were written for the big screen and not adapted from a successful Broadway show. While the likes of Chicago, The Producers and Rock of Ages have had varying levels of critical and commercial success, they have never been able to escape the feeling that you are just watching a stage-show on film.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that Les Miserables will be able to buck the trend.