Kirsten Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Stella Maeve, Scout Taylor-Compton, Alia Shawkat, Riley Keough / Fiction / English
From schoolroom to stadium ... the scandalous story of the original rock chicks.
As fast, sweet and sweaty as a teenage tryst, this rocking biopic also shows off the acting chops of Twilight’s goth princess Kristen Stewart and blossoming child star Dakota Fanning. They play Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, who were schoolgirls when they got together with maverick svengali Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) to create a girl group like no other. Lock up your daughters, because if they see this, they’ll form a band...
#1 / Monday 21 June, 2010 / 11:06 GMTTruth may often be stranger than fiction, but that doesn’t mean it makes an interesting film, and this is a classic case in point. Having hit the music scene at the very end of the 70’s and been immediately hooked by Siouxsie & The Banshees and their contemporaries, I was vaguely aware of Joan Jett, but not much more than that. Despite what I thought was an excellent central performance by Kristen Stewart, I didn’t come out feeling that I’d learnt a whole lot more about Joan Jett, or her place in history. There was no doubt that The Runaways gave tradition a good kick in the teeth, and hacked a fearsome swathe through a stale, male-dominated industry – but the sense of how difficult and cutting edge it must have been to form an all-girl teenage band at that time felt underplayed.
Instead, we are treated to a formulaic and generic sex’n’drugs’rock’n’roll story of so many bands, concentrating on the interplay between the 2 leads and their producer/manager, egos over-inflated by sudden success and nihilistic burn-out. Whilst The Runaways may have been one of the first to go through this process in real life, in terms of genre films, they’re very late to the party, and it just felt like a clichéd resume offering nothing that we hadn’t already seen before in other, better movies – for example, both ‘Breaking Glass’ and the outstanding ‘Almost Famous’ are more accomplished, satisfying and engaging pieces of film-making, albeit largely works of fiction.
So, a standard, angry rebel rock bio-pick that is well-made and thumps along nicely, but what it offered in authenticity (apart from the rubbish plastic dogshit) it lacked in originality. 6.5/10
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