Biopics revolving around classic bands have definitely become a fad these days, even though they have been around for decades. The Dirt is the latest in the long line of musical biopics and this time it’s hitting Netflix. As Mötley Crüe isn’t exactly one of the greatest bands of all time to many people, their music has absolutely resonated with many listeners. Not knowing anything about the lives of these four men before going in, I’m pleasantly surprised that this story had a lot more to offer than the average biopic. Still, it does follow the tired formula, but that’s okay because it’s done quite well here.
Following Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars as they form an unlikely group of misfits, this band quickly shoots to superstardom, which ultimately leads to a life of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. This premise has been done to death through the years, so the only thing to truly keep you interested in movies like this is the content itself. From car accidents to overdosing, this is a film that keeps you engaged from start to finish. Sadly, the material presented throughout the majority of the film is quite unlikeable, to say the least.
You can’t help but be disgusted by the actions of most of these men, but the music and shocking turn of events is why you watch movies like this, so for that reason, it all blends together quite well. Still, many viewers will be turned off by this film in the first five minutes, guaranteed. If you’re in for a wild ride with sometimes disturbing imagery, bordering on pornography or actual footage of heroin overdosing, then I think you’ll enjoy the movie for what it is. When watching this film, it became clear to me why this film never hit theatres, but that’s not because it was bad by any means.
Although Vince (the lead singer) is played up as the most unlikeable character throughout the majority of the film, Daniel Webber gave a terrific performance. I would love to see his career explode more than it already has, because I believe he has some real dramatic talent, just waiting to be showcased. On top of that, Iran Rheon is the most likeable actor here and Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx was great as well. Surprisingly, the breakout performance here is actually from Machine Gun Kelly (Colson Baker). I never would have expected that, but his devotion to this character was a joy to watch.
In the end, The Dirt is absolutely defined by its title, because this is a film that showcases the grit and griminess of the rock n’ roll underworld. That aspect alone will turn viewers off, but it’s a very well-made movie nonetheless. This is by no means one of the better biopics out there, but it’s an enjoyable film and better than a lot of the content Netflix has been making, in terms of feature films. To fans of Mötley Crüe or fans of a good biopic in general, I would recommend checking this one out. It’s fairly standard fare with some surprising elements throughout.
KJ Proulx's Review of 'The Dirt'
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