Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Roll
The Dirt is one of those films that’s likely to be loathed by critics but loved by fans. Ultimately, this balance makes The Dirt a decidedly polarizing film, one that adds a massive amount of shock factor to its first half before slamming into the more dramatic beats of the film late on. Armed with an eclectic selection of Mötley Crüe’s best songs, The Dirt does pale compared to other music biopics but there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable film nonetheless.
Narrated by its band members and manager, the story showcases how Mötley Crüe came to be one of the most notorious rock ‘n roll groups in history. After an extremely graphic and shocking opening scene, the film jumps back in time to show Nikki Six’s troubled childhood and ensuing love for rock music that acted as his escapism. From here, the film jumps forward at breakneck speed, whipping up a hedonistic mix of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll as the band are formed, signed and make it into the big time.
Of course, with those lofty heights come even bigger falls and as the crazy antics of the group overwhelm the music, several tragedies see the band take a turn for the worst and descend into the depths of hell. This really proves to be the catalyst for much of the drama that follows before the film picks back up again for a triumphant finale.
Despite its brilliant soundtrack and decent chemistry between the actors, The Dirt struggles to really make its dramatic moments resonate as much as they should. Given the overwhelmingly graphic opening, in many ways this actually dampens the effect of some of the later incidents, including a drug overdose and car accident that don’t have the same shock factor they should.
The film is littered with fourth wall breaks too, with front-facing narration reinforcing the craziness of the group. This is only further accentuated by several camera tricks, including speeding up frames and slowing them down again for maximum effect.
Given the recent trend that seems to be sweeping Hollywood lately, The Dirt does well to stand out although perhaps not always for the right reasons. The film isn’t shy about its depiction of drugs and sex either so expect plenty of nudity and drugs to dominate much of the run time here. All of which, peppered with a thunderous flurry of profanities for good measure.
Still, The Dirt is an enjoyable biographical film, even if it is a little predictable at times. With a decent soundtrack and good chemistry between the actors, there’s enough here that fans of rock music, and the band themselves, can enjoy. Of course, if you go into this one expecting something as critically acclaimed as Bohemian Rhapsody you’ll likely be disappointed so if you can go in with a somewhat open mind and have the stomach for the ensuing shock factor, The Dirt is certainly worth your time.