3.25.19 the dirt

Stars: 3.5/5 

Netflix dropped the “The Dirt” biopic on March 22 – a film which we never wanted or really needed – telling the story of the rise and fall of the '80s debatably most prolific band, Mötley Crüe.   

Frank Feranna Jr. (Douglas Booth) is raised by a drunk mother and a myriad of abusive stepfathers. After getting his mom arrested and failing to reconnect with his absentee father to escape the streets, Frank changes his name to Nikki Sixx. Nikki then becomes a bassist for the band London.  

A year later, Nikki meets drummer Tommy Lee (Colson Baker- also known as Machine Gun Kelly) at a diner after his former band’s fallout, and together they recruit guitarist Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon) and lead vocalist Vince Neil (Daniel Webber) to form Mötley Crüe, a band that eventually rises to considerable fame and gains an infamous reputation for their outrageousness.   

After consequently selling out their shows, the band is approached by producer Tom Zutaut (Pete Davidson) of Elektra Records who offers them a five-album deal. The band aceepts and signs Doc McGee as their manager. 

The film was a wild ride that I think represents the craziness of the rock band perfectly. I quite enjoyed it. It opens with the line “The 1980’s. The worst f*cking decade in human history,” if you need any indication of how #IDGAF it’s going to be. For whatever reason, I found this hilarious. I also enjoyed seeing the familiar locations as the film was shot in New Orleans last year.  

I loved the contrast between the mismatched characters, particularly that of Nikki and Tommy. While Nikki came from a broken home and had issues for days, Tommy was a happy-go-lucky person from a normal family. It was interesting to see Joe Chrest as Tommy’s father, David Lee Roth, as Chrest is an adjunct professor of film and television at LSU. You can catch him in the Music & Dramatic Arts building. 

Booth is an extremely talented actor and I am happy to finally see him rising at the forefront of mainstream Hollywood. From the moment I saw him star on a Masterpiece Classic “Great Expectations” adaptation opposite Vanessa Kirby and Gillian Anderson, I’ve been waiting for this moment. He’s also really hot 

Rheon still scares me. I’m not sure he’ll ever outlive his chillingly frightening and spectacular performance as Ramsey Bolton né Snow in Game of Thrones, or maybe that image is just freshly in my mind with the impending release of the very anticipated “Game of Thrones” season eight. Regardless, he played the grumpy old man secretly in constant pain due to Ankylosing Spondylitis very well. 

I liked how the characters broke the fourth wall because it felt like they were breaking the rules, and that’s something characteristic of Mötley Crüe. Most of what gives the film its edge and hilarity is the actual real-life, hard-partying, destructive behavior of the people involved with and in Mötley Crüe, which the actors captured. There was a lot of drugs, hard liquor, sex and a young Ozzy Osbourne (Tony Cavalero) licking pee off a pool floor. 

The film is a good watch, but it’s easy to forget that, unlike other films, this rollercoaster of insanity is based on a true story, which also makes it incredibly sad. 

This review has been brought to you by someone who had no idea what Mötley Crüe was prior to the release of the film.  

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