Hot on the heels of Bohemian Rhapsody’s mystifying four Oscar wins and box office glory comes The Dirt, the long gestating biopic of the 80s glam-rock band Mötley Crüe. In the 18 years since the band’s autobiography of the same name hit bookshelves, the film has gone through a series of starts and stops, including the passing interest of David Fincher (imagine!). But unlike the universally beloved Queen, Mötley Crüe are the kind of polarizing band where potential viewers may be more likely to remember the names of the band’s outsized personalities than the names of their hit songs. Suitably, the film finally arrives by way of circumventing the silver screen altogether with the lower stakes Netflix distribution model, a fresh-faced cast and a director known best for compiling amateur-style prank videos.
3 out of 5 stars.
Fincher - Material - Film - Apropos - Band
While we can fantasize about what a visionary like Fincher would have done with the material, the actual film is probably the most apropos of the band’s stature. Mötley Crüe’s music was never destined to win Grammys, nor was their book bound for the Man Booker prize, and this film will not be positioned for Oscars. So, as it turns out, things ended up as they should and the film works pretty well. It’s unlikely to convert skeptics or reveal hidden depths to diehard fans but it moves at a clip and offers enough novelty to overpower the cliches as it chronicles both the punch-drunk nights and the sobering mornings after of this hard-living band.
Things begin in media res at a party featuring exactly the kind of debauchery you would expect from a Mötley Crüe biopic directed by the Jackass maestro Jeff Tremaine. The scene culminates with a gross-out gag that will have many viewers reaching for their remote. But with the exception of...
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