THE DIRT REVIEW
Starring: Machine Gun Kelly, Douglas Booth, Daniel Webber, & Iwan Rheon
Directed By: Jeff Tremaine (Bad Grandpa)
Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes
The Motley Crue biopic based on the band’s best-selling biography from 2014 was released on Netflix this week.It details the group’s formation, rise to fame, fall from grace, and all the debauchery in between.The movie has been a long time coming, but after the nearly 900 million dollar worldwide haul from Queen’s theatrical biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Dirt has become a bit more anticipated.
Viewers clearly want movies detailing the careers of their favorite musical artists.Rocketman is coming out in May, all about Elton John.There are movies in the works about Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beatles, and more.We don’t get tired of these stories even though they all play the same notes.Band forms in humble beginnings.Overnight success.Biggest act in the world.Too much drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll.The band breaks up.Tragic event.Band reforms for one last ride.The End.Play the band’s hits in between.If you could show us the recording process, we’d appreciate it.All these movies are the same and we don’t care.Cause we go in liking the band or singer.There’s a built in fan base.
The Dirt details Nikki Sixx’s rough upbringing, Tommy Lee’s rather un-rock star like family life, Mick Mars’ medical troubles before joining the Crue, and plucking Vince Neil out of a cover band.The band gets high, has sex, releases some tunes.Total rock stars.Sure, it may glamorize the lifestyle, but the career of rock star will always be glamourous even if money can’t buy happiness.
What The Dirt does better than Bohemian Rhapsody is show the subject warts and all.Where Bohemian Rhapsody would allude to trouble, The Dirt dives in head first.There are times these guys hated each other.There are times where the sex and drugs got in the way of the work.It doesn’t dance around the issue, it puts it on full display.Because as many characters say in rather humorous “breaking the fourth wall” moments.A lot of people have worked with a lot of other bands, but Motley Crue raised the most hell.
The cast actually does a pretty good job.Nice makeup work to make these guys look like their Motley Crue counterparts. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly plays Tommy Lee as your dopey brother.You love him.You know there’s a sweet guy in there.But man is he an idiot sometimes.He’s probably the most famous member of the cast.Ramsey Bolton from Game of Thrones plays Mick Mars, who is definitely the person I knew the least about going into the movie, but after having seen the movie, he’s my new favorite Crue-member.Gruff, refusing to acknowledge anyone by name, sleeps like a vampire.He’s a lot of fun to watch.
Pete Davidson is a little off putting as the shady record executive.He wears polo shirts throughout the movie, is a total dork, and you rejoice when the band picks on him.I’m sure he looks just like the real record exec, but it’s a jarring casting choice.
As a movie, this strikes me as made for VH1 type ‘Behind the Music” full length movie.But for fans of Motley Crue, you don’t care what I think.And that’s perfect! This movie is fun, exciting, and a rollercoaster of emotions for fans of the band.There’s really nothing to see here that’s ground breaking.There’s a lot of opinion pieces out there saying that The Dirt is bad for the current era in which we live.Let me tell you what Crue fans don’t care about…political correctness.It’s moronic to say this movie doesn’t work in the Me Too Era.It isn’t depicting the Me Too Era.It’s a rock and roll story as old as time.Motley Crue IS excess.
Die hards you won’t learn anything new about Motley Crue from ‘The Dirt’.But you don’t care.Cinephiles you aren’t watching ‘The Dirt’ and you don’t care about the backstage hijinks of rock’s last bad boys.Casual fans of the band, this is right in your wheelhouse.If you spend your weekends watching Behind the Music marathons, or Bar Rescue because you like the cringe-worthy beginnings of a failing bar, this is your kind of movie.Like I said last week with Captain Marvel, you know whether you’re in or you’re out before the movie starts and that’s exactly how you’ll feel afterwards.
See It/Stream It/Skip It -- I vote 'Skip It', but I’m not a huge fan of the band, I knew the story going in.I was entertained throughout. It moves quickly.I was never bored.It’s good weekend watch.Rainy Sunday afternoon movie.Not required viewing though.
If you liked Bohemian Rhapsody, Airheads, or Straight Outta Compton you might like The Dirt
2 out of 5 stars