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Movie Review: ‘The Dirt’ does not dig deep

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Nicolette Rojo
Social Media Editor

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

Those three indulgences sum up the lives of rock stars, particularly in the world of 1980s heavy metal.

They sum up “The Dirt” on Netflix, a biopic based on the 2001 memoir “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band” by journalist Neil Strauss and members of Mötley Crüe.

Directed by MTV mogul Jeff Tremaine, the movie does not disappoint if you are looking for an entertaining and hectic movie or if you are a big fan of classic metal.

But aside from the humor, glam, actors and dark parts of the movie, the movie does not offer much.

In other words, do not expect a “Bohemian Rhapsody” type film that will blow you away with the cinematography and stellar camera angles.

“The Dirt” consists of various narrations from all four members, with the majority of the story telling from bassist Nikki Sixx, played by Douglas Booth, in which they discuss their rise and fall of the band and as individuals.

The film begins with Sixx leaving his home to escape a series of abusive stepfathers and a neglectful mother to start his music career in Los Angeles.

After conflicts with his first band, Sixx goes on a search to recruit new band members.

Drummer Tommy Lee, played by Colson Baker, famously known as rapper Machine Gun Kelly, introduces himself to Sixx at a restaurant after his show.

He then joined Sixx and later recruited guitarist Mick Mars, played by Iwan Rheon, a few weeks later.

While at a backyard party, the band convinced the blonde haired womanizer vocalist Vince Neil, played by Daniel Webber, to leave his band and adjust to a heavier metal style.

As the film progresses, each member shares their point of view of specific events that are beyond insane, but typical for a rock star, from waking up handcuffed at 5 p.m. to participating in various sexual activities with women before and after shows and rehearsals.

With all of the partying, sex and drug abuse throughout their careers, comes very dark moments in their lives.

Tremaine’s angle for the movie was evident: a fun and crazy movie surrounding four rock band members who define the American catchphrase of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

The film is not Oscar worthy and will not likely snatch a few awards, but it is recommended if you want to learn more about the Crüe.

Sixx nearly dies in a heroin overdose. Neil spends 19 days in jail for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence and loses his daughter to cancer. Lee is charged with sexual assault. Mars continues to suffer from ankylosing spondylitis, a rare form of arthritis where the spine’s bones are fused together, causing high levels of pain and loss of mobility.

They each experienced very dark times throughout their lives, some tragic, but the writing failed to convey and demonstrate their internal hardships.

The acting was not top notch because the actors struggled to make the audience feel sympathetic towards the band members.

The film only highlighted the fame and fortune.

They did what they could do, but overall, the acting fell flat mostly due Tremaine’s directing and poor screenplay.

However, Baker’s performance is a highlight, as he performed an accurate portrayal of Lee.

The film does have countless scenes where women are objectified and used solely for sexual pleasure, along with haunting images of drug abuse, but it is Mötley Crüe.

By no means are these acts justified, but the band is notoriously known for them.

Overall, “The Dirt” was not a well written or produced film with a stellar plot, but it is entertaining and fun to watch for a good laugh or to listen to a Hollywood version of the Crüe.

Nicolette Rojo can be reached at nicolette.rojo@laverne.edu.

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