Monday, August 2, 2010

Movie Review- The Runaways

The Runaways! A movie most people have probably heard of but not that many people saw. If you don't know The Runaways was a movie released earlier this year about the all girl, teenage rock band from the 70's named The Runaways. If you've never heard of them, The Runaways was Joan Jett's start up band before she was part of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. In 1975, Joan Jett, who plays the electric guitar, met up with drummer Sandy West through music producer Kim Fowley and discussed the idea of a all female rock band. Later Micki Steele was brought on as a bassist, Lita Ford as lead guitar and Cherie Currie as lead singer and thus The Runaways was formed.

In the film The Runaways, Joan Jett is played by Kristen Stewart and Cherie Currie is played by Dakota Fanning. The film mostly centers around Cherie and Joan. The film starts with Joan, after an introduction to Cherie's character, at a club when she meets her future producer Kim Fowely (played brilliantly by Michael Shannon) and together with Sandy West start a band. Later on, Kim and Joan find Cherie at a club while searching for "hot blondes" and ask her to come to an audition to be the lead singer for their band. Cherie arrives at the audition and the future hit song "Cherry Bomb" is developed for her to sing. After passing the audition the band is formed and they begin to play shows together. The film then quickly progresses to show them getting signed on a record deal by Mercury Records and from there, after their record's success, they begin a world tour.

At the beginning of the film, Cherie's is shown to have an estranged relationship with her parents. Her father is alcoholic and her mother moves to Indonesia while leaves Cherie and her sister behind. Once Cherie begins playing gigs with the band, she starts experimenting with drugs. During the world tour in Japan, Cherie's relationship with the band begins to tense and she overdoses at one point and is rushed to the hospital. Okay I'm not going to give away the entire plot of the film but you see where I'm going. Dakota Fanning had to put on a shit show of a performance for this role. Though I don't think she looks much like Cherie Currie, I thought she did a great job. I last time I saw her in a movie, she was a young girl so it was great to see her turning out more mature roles and playing them well too! I also thought Kristen Stewart was good as Joan Jett. She managed to capture Joan's persona very well and had good chemistry with Dakota Fanning. I think empowering roles like this are much better suited to Kristen's style, not a stupid flake named Bella.

I love music biopics so I couldn't miss checking out this one. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on The Runways but I thought all in all, the movie did a pretty good job capturing their brief career. I think what really made this film though was Ms. Fanning and Ms. Stewart and their brilliant performances. I thought it was visually well crafted and the music was great. Though the film does make you want to rock out, considering it was rock band biopic, it could have been a bit more electric. Still, I enjoyed watching it as brief as it was and would recommend it to any music fan.

Recommended- Final Score 6/10

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