I will admit that I hadn’t read the book (yet) and I was apprehensive about watching the movie because the trailer looked like a bad Lifetime Movie. But being it was on Netflix and it wouldn’t cost anymore than I am paying now for the service, I finally broke down and watched it. What did I think? Well, that is the whole point of this review, to let you know what I thought about the movie.
The movie is very graphic. It doesn’t shy away from the drug use or any of the sex…at all!! The opening scene where they are partying doesn’t hold back and pretty much sums up the whole band in 1 minute. When I was a kid, this scene would have been epic, but as a 50 year old male, with two daughters, I now found it disturbing and sad…damn how perspective changes with age and life experiences.
Without having read the book, I can’t speak to how accurate the movie stuck to it, but then again we can’t speak to the accuracy of the book based on how drugged out these guys were all the time. I can speak to the performances overall. The actors portraying the band are as follows:
- Nikki Sixx – Douglas Booth
- Tommy Lee – Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly)
- Mick Mars – Iwan Rheon
- Vince Neil – Daniel Webber
The movie started off too crazy and too outlandish which left me not really caring about these guys a whole lot. As the movie progressed, the acting progressed and the movie actually got better. As far as Razzle’s death (of Hanoi Rocks) by the drunk driving of Vince, I didn’t feel the proper tension build up it needed. It felt flat. But later when Vince lost his little girl to cancer, I felt that. That was way sadder and more believable (plus it could be I have girls and I could relate to how awful that would be to lose one).
You got to see Tommy’s home life (typical middle class, loving family) and Nikki’s home life (pure hardship, father left, mother a whore and self-centered – no love whatsoever), but you never got to see Vince’s upbringing or even Mick Mars. Now with Mick, since I hadn’t read the book, I didn’t realize his ailment was pretty much an issue his whole time with Motley Crue. That is awful.
They definitely delve into Nikki’s drug use and his famous heroin overdose. But I am not sure I felt empathy for Nikki. Nikki was one messed up individual and Douglas tried to capture this as best he could. I am not overly sure how believable I felt it was. I give all the actors credit as it is really hard to play these four guys I grew up watching and have all their albums. Plus, they are still alive and I feel I know so much about them already. It was hard at times for me to buy in on the whole thing.
As a fan, the music is great. The whole beginning of the band and the scene with them rehearsing Live Wire with Vince auditioning was all fantastic. However, I was disappointed that John Corabi’s time with the band was so minimized and that the band hates that album. Funny, when I talk to fans of the band, that Motley Crue album is one of everyone’s favorites (mine included).
Okay, one of the best scenes in the whole movie was Tony Cavalero’s performance as Ozzy Osbourne. It was so over-the-top fantastic. The Ass ATM, the snorting of ants and the licking of urine off the pool deck were amazing. He sounded like Ozzy and, to me, captured the essence of what we know and love about the Prince of Darkness during his completely drugged out and wasted phase (most of his career).
The movie didn’t talk about Tommy’s leaving the band and there were so many things that they skipped over. I get it, it is a movie and there is only so much time you have and there are so many things to cover you can’t get to them all, but it still sucked. They ended the movie with scenes from the band’s farewell tour in 2015 and I have to say, it does look like Kiss ‘stole’ the stage set from Motley. I am so kidding, what nonsense. They stole so much from Kiss it isn’t even funny, but that is another topic.
As I said earlier, the performances started off weak, but they got stronger as the movie went on and I started to enjoy it a little more. However, it is still just a little better than a Lifetime Movie and I should know, my wife watches enough of them. The movie is no ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and I don’t think it claims to be. It is what it is. Pure 80’s over-the-top Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. And sometimes there is nothing wrong with that.
I have pointed out a lot of negatives, but I did enjoy the movie. I found it entertaining enough. Not enough to pay for it on the big screen. But enough for a Netflix movie on something I am already paying money on. For that, I will give it 3 out of 5 stars as a Motley fan should check it out. If I paid for this at a theatre, it might get only 2.5 stars.