4/10 Musical biopics are a dime a dozen these days and “The Dirt” is about as standard and generic as they come. It will entertain you and you’ll learn more about the subject matter than you knew before your viewing, but you will have seen this same exact story in so many other biopics. After all, what is a musical biopic without the band forming, the band getting caught up in fame, ego, women/sex, alcohol/drug addiction, partying, infighting between band members, having a falling out and then reuniting? These tropes are so played out and predictable that we see where the story is going to go long before we arrive there. Besides the predictable, formulaic plot, the other biggest problem is that three out of the four members of the band we follow the entire movie are totally unlikable jerks. Every character can and should be flawed to reflect reality but to make your supposed protagonists so unlikable made me not want to root for them or care about what happened to them. Whenever a band member suffered a tragedy, I felt no sympathy towards them because they deserved most of it. Mick Mars (played by Iwan Rheon of “Game of Thrones” fame) is the only likeable member of the band. The character development and backstory of the band members is also wildly uneven as we get to see the upbringing/childhood of certain characters and then nothing from other ones. With only four members, spreading the character development out evenly was definitely doable but the movie fails to do so. Finally, Pete Davidson is miscast and his performance was the lone weak link in the acting chain. Despite all of those problems, this movie got a few things right. Besides Davidson, the cast is really fantastic. Not only do the actors do a great job with their roles and all show off real musical talent, but the casting itself is incredible with how much everyone looks like the real people they are playing. As I stated earlier, the movie is informative in a lot of events that happened with the band, a good amount of which I knew nothing about (mostly involving death). The music of Mötley Crüe is used sparingly and not overdone, which is a common problem many musical biopics have that this movie avoids. Getting to see other famous people from the era was fun and this movie is very entertaining. The pacing works well so you will be glued to the movie from start to finish. The costume design, production design, hair & make-up, props, etc. are all spot on recreations of the 1980s that really draw you into the time period. While the movie ends up being below average overall due to all of its problems, if you are big fan of Mötley Crüe, you will get more out of this than your average viewer. Unfortunately for film fans looking for something completely new, this movie feels like the same ol’ situation as many other musical biopics.
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