Music biopics certainly seem to right back in favour in Hollywood right now, and Netflix brings its adaptation of Mötley Crüe’s autobiography ‘The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band’.
Now I have to go into the review stressing that I am not at all familiar with Mötley Crüe or the four core members who make up the band. I vaguely recognised some of the songs throughout the film, but I couldn’t tell you what they were called and didn’t know they were Mötley Crüe songs before the film. But that is as much as I knew about them going in.
And maybe if you’re a fan of Mötley Crüe there’ll be some enjoyment to get out of The Dirt, but for me there was none. This is a horribly written film, the majority of which is just about showing off and celebrating the band’s early excessive lifestyle, which may be crazy in real life, but in the film world we’ve had films such as The Wolf Of Wall Street that make what we see in The Dirt (mainly just a lot of sex and drugs) seem tame by comparison.
There’s no really interesting or compelling story here to drive the majority of the plot as it crams all the beats you’d expect from a music biopic in to the early scenes. It also certainly doesn’t help that the film makes all the members of the band come across as incredibly unlikeable, and not characters you want to root for. It appears as though the filmmakers were banking on the audience’s preexisting love for these musicians in order for the film to succeed, but if that’s not there there’s no one to draw you in.
The performances from the four main actors are solid enough. Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Vince Neil are played by Douglas Booth, Colson Baker, and Daniel Webber respectively. These three characters would be nearly indistinguishable if it wasn’t for Neil’s shock of blonde hair and Booth’s noticeably chiselled jawline. Iwan Rheon plays Mick Mars the final member of the band, who is very distinct from the other three, but relegated to having virtually nothing to do.
The Dirt enjoys the debauchery of Mötley Crüe’s youth, but is too quick to skate over some of the powerful and interesting moments in the band’s past choosing instead to take the typical music biopic route and focus on the falling out of the bands members. Instead of taking time to dive into these characters we shoot through it to a quick resolution. In the end this actually leads to The Dirt being a fairly safe and ultimately boring biopic whose only real notoriety come from the excess it revels in, which we’ve all seen plenty of times before in far better movies.
Maybe if you’re a fan of Mötley Crüe you’ll enjoy seeing these stories you know brought to life, but even then there’s very little focus on the band’s actual music. It seems to mainly be relegated to the background, so even that may lead to disappointment for the fans.
All in all there’s not much to love about The Dirt. It certainly isn’t the worst film in the world, but it is criminally boring and unengaging, which seems crazy given that they’ve billed themselves the World’s most notorious rock band.