I’m going to start this review by pre-warning you all that I am a big Mötley Crüe fan so my opinion may be slightly biased.
It’s also worth noting that I won’t be tiptoeing too much around spoilers as this is a biopic and if you know Crüe then you know the story here. If you don’t know the story and want to see in not knowing what happens then go see it right now! Because here’s the first spoiler, I absolutely loved The Dirt!
The movie does a great job at introducing us to the four members of the band, Nikki Sixx played by Douglas Booth is portrayed as the wild child that he is and serves as a sort of lead throughout the film – which makes sense given that a lot of people see Sixx as the face of Mötley Crüe. Mick Mars is played absolutely brilliantly by Iwan Rheon – famed for his role as Ramsey Bolton in Game of Thrones, does an amazing job at capturing the more laid back and reserved member of the band that Mars is. Daniel Webber also does a great job at playing lead singer Vince Neil and probably has the toughest job here given the traumatic events that happen in Neil’s life that are reflected well in the movie. The odd bunch is finally rounded off by the ever famous Tommy Lee – played by rapper-cum-actor, Machine Gun Kelly. When I first heard that MGK would be playing Tommy, I had my doubts but I was quickly proven wrong as MGK does a fantastic job at capturing the carefree childish mentality of the legend he is portraying.
The four band members take turns narrating the events, even going as far as to break the fourth wall at times, telling the audience if something was taken out or maybe over embellished, giving the whole thing a bit of a Deadpool vibe. The whole film feels like a wild ride where the only negative is that things sometimes feels a bit rushed, as they try to cram in the story of four crazy characters over a nearly twenty year period in a runtime of under two hours. Given that this ended up as a Netflix original, maybe a six part series (Or a well marketed ‘Sixx part series’… I’ll get my coat) could have told the story much better. If you’re a big fan of the book that this is based on then you will notice that a lot is missing, though that doesn’t mean the main beats of Crüe’s storied career isn’t done justice.
The beauty of being a fan of the artist or band that a biopic like this is based on, is that knowing what’s coming can create real tension and that is certainly the case here. Whether it’s Vince Neil and Hanoi Rocks’ ‘Razzle’ approaching that famous orange sports car on that fateful night or the date ‘December 23rd 1987’ popping up on screen as Nikki Sixx falls further into heroin addiction, they all hit home before the scene has even played out.
It goes without saying that if you are a fan of Mötley Crüe then you will love the soundtrack! The choice of songs they use throughout the film include all the big hitters such as Live Wire, Home Sweet Home, Same Ol’ Situation, Shout At The Devil and all the rest of the big hitters. Much like Bohemian Rhapsody last year, this feels like a celebration of Crüe and their music. The film makers don’t go out of their way to avoid the darker side of the band and how bad everything spiralled out of control for them but once all is said and done, this is a celebration of the band’s career more than anything else.
This may not be a masterpiece and if you are not a fan of Mötley Crüe, then maybe you won’t enjoy this as much as I did. And maybe it could have benefited by being a bit longer or released as a series instead of a 1hr 47min film… Though that doesn’t take away from what is there; an exciting peek into the insanity that was Mötley Crüe. As the credits rolled and they began to show side by side footage of the actual band next to their movie counterparts while ‘Kickstart My Heart’ blares away in the background, I couldn’t help but smile and that is the overriding feeling I have taken away from The Dirt. It may not be perfect but I had so much fun with this film that I would have happily watched it all over again as soon as it finished. So borrow a pair of your sisters tightest leather trousers, get that hairspray ready and crack open a bottle of JD and enjoy this thrill ride of a movie.
I give The Dirt: