Netflix Now: Get Crue'd: The Dirt (2019) Reviewed

Hot on the heels of last year's rock and roll biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody comes a new streaming musical bio-flick about American hard rockers, Motley Crue. Starting from their early days and following through to their meteoric rise to world stardom to the abysmal failure of swapping singers to their eventual return, The Dirt is a super flawed motion picture that gets a lot wrong but also gets some things right. 

Armed to the lipstick smeared teeth with '80s glam rock sleaze, terrible acting all around, and a couple barrels full of awfully rendered live performance recreation footage, this movie based on the book of the same name is unwatchable in many ways but is still nearly better than the one about Queen. Where Brian May and Roger Taylor maintained a strong foothold to try and manage the negative aspects of their lives and Mr. Mercury's sexuality, The Dirt dives headlong into the dark corridors that the members of Motley Crue wandered. For that alone (never mind the cheese factor), the Netflix movie is honestly the better of the two, in its presentation of the rock and roll lifestyle (at least). 

Did you bring the condoms?

Moving on from comparisons, The Dirt is a full on spectacle of sexual gluttony, drug fueled rampages, needless hotel room destruction, drug addled acts of perversion, and a sudden whirlwhind of personal loss that cursed the band for years. Unlike so many other movies that try to skew history into some revisionist lesson that paints the band members in a more positive light, The Dirt doesn't discount the rock and roll livelihoods that these guys lived to the fullest. It shows its audience exactly how terrible these four dudes were at the height of stardom and it also gives us a taste of their lowest of lows. If anything, this tale of the Crue gives us an eye opening look at four rock and roll degenerates doing a balancing act between real life and the one they created for themselves. 

Jeff Tremaine's (Jackass, Bad Grandpa) directorial work is quite a departure from his previous movies. Moving on from a more documentary style to a straight narrative could be hard for some. Luckily enough, he makes that transition with ease. When The Dirt is firing on all cylinders, it's an excellent watch. But, when it's relying on these actors to carry scenes that have any emotional weight, it becomes slightly laughable. None of these four actors are worth their salt as dramatic performers. And most of them, other than Douglas Booth (Nikki Sixx) even bear a resemblance to their real life counterparts. And did we mention the terrible lip syncing yet? No, I don't think we did. 

Going in with very little knowledge pertaining to the band, it was cool to see some back story. Being a person that grew up in the '80s, it's always fun to see these nostalgia trips that paint that decade as one of excess where sex was cheap, the booze was on tap, and drugs were just part of daily life. But, it's also eye opening to see how easily a life in the spotlight can translate to addiction, abuse and personal suffering. But really? Do we feel bad for these guys? No. They had the world by the balls and one of them made a personal choice that killed someone. The Dirt is just a fair movie that could have been SO much better had they spent more time, more money, and invested in getting these actors some training. And whoever coordinated the live scenes needs to have their head examined. 

Based on the 2001 novel, The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, this is a slightly neutered version that gets to the point, but should have driven it home. If you're a fan of the band, there will be much for you to enjoy. If you're not, you might still get a kick out of it. It's just mediocre. 

-Chris George