So, to preface this, no, I have not seen the stage version, so I’m just going off of the movie only.
I’ll just cut to the chase. It was fun. It had flaws, but it was still fun. I’ve always found jukebox musicals impressive. It takes real imagination to interweave already existing songs into a story, and this one had a few mash-ups. (My favorite being a mash up of We’re Not Going to Take It and We Built This City). Overall, the music was a lot of fun (I mean come on, it’s 80s rock) and was performed extremely well by this ensemble cast, most notably by Diego Boneta, who plays Drew. Where has this boy been hiding? Absolutely loved his voice. Mary J. Blige could sing the phonebook, Russell Brand is always good to have around, and Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin were actually quite good. I enjoyed both of their performances. Now, Julianne Hough. I wanted to like her, I really did. When she got the opportunity to hit these huge belt notes, she really shone. But when it was just her singing verses or what not, she had this weird nasal affectation thing going on that was actually kind of annoying. I don’t know if that is her actual voice, or if it was for the character, but either way, no. Just no. On the other hand, Catherine Zeta-Jones. The woman can’t do wrong. Loved both of her numbers. Speaking of the musical numbers. Mia Michaels, the goddess of choreography. I am dead serious when I say that one of the top reasons to even watch this is for her choreography. I loved it. Now, as for everything in-between the music-shmeh. The story was slow, choppy, scattered, didn’t have a whole lot of focus, basically a hot mess. I was bored, waiting for the next song to happen. Which should not be happening in a musical. So, in the end, see it for the fun of the musical numbers, because at least I was singing along with those.