SPOILER ALERT – You may want to watch the movie first. Just be warned as I will be dishing The Dirt as it were.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it) this movie was released shortly after the Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody. I LOVED that movie. Perfect 10/10 from me. I saw it 3 times (I have never seen another movie more than once in the theatre) but I wanted to get the review perfect and life got in the way. By the time I was close to writing it, the movie had won a bunch of awards and was released on video. So I shelved it. The unfortunate thing is, this movie will be held up to a higher standard. The fortunate thing is that new fans that have never heard of Motley Crue may watch it. Partly due to the Queen movie, and partly due to the fact that it’s on Netflix (brilliant plan lads).
The movie begins with a scene on Sunset Strip and the apartment where the band lived. “The cops kicked down the door so many times we bolted it shut. People had to go in and out through the window”. I call bullshit. The lady water fountain scene in the living room of the apartment in front of a large crowd is probably bullshit as well.
The scene changes to Nikki Sixx back when he was a young Frank Ferrana Jr. His mom is portrayed by Kathryn Morris. She is an awesome actress that played on tv show Cold Case. She plays Nikki’s mom brilliantly here. She is so concerned about her one night stands that she has little left for her son. Nikki is mad that his mom blames him for the father leaving, so he cuts his arm with a knife and tells police it was his mom. He makes a deal that if she leaves him alone, he will tell the truth. He later makes his way to California and calls his real dad, who tells him to never call again. He legally changed his name to Nikki Sixx right after that.
The scenes next were of Nikki wearing a Metallica t shirt (probably before that band was formed), and the continuous flashing of the devil horns(probably before that was popular), and Tommy leaving home wearing his sisters pants (seemed to have been taken right from Bohemian Rhapsody). Tommy goes to see the band London. He meets Nikki in the Denny`s and Nikki tells him that London broke up. (I was sure I had read somewhere that Nikki Sixx sucked at playing an instrument before joining Crue. No mention of this in the film.) Tommy, Nikki and Greg Leon (who seems to struggle with the riffs Nikki wants him to play) reply to an ad in the paper for a ‘loud rude aggressive lead guitarist…’ and Mick Mars arrives. He instantly outshines Greg. Nikki then gets Mick to fire Greg. Nikki wants to find a lead singer that is in the mold of David Lee Roth. Tommy then brings Vince Neil on board and the rest is history. (There are missing former members/try outs such as Michael White, O`Dean Peterson and possibly others). They contemplate band names. Nikki tries X Mass. Tommy The Fourskins. Mick offers Motley Crew, which is changed to the name as we know it.
Elektra rep Tom Zutaut(who later signed Guns N Roses, Sloan etc.) appears to sign the band to a five album deal 30 seconds after meeting them (while refusing oral sex from a woman under the band’s table). I know it took a lot more than that to sign the band.
The next scene is Doc McGhee meeting the band at a party that also features David Lee Roth. Then Mick tells the audience that this didn’t actually happen this way and mentions how it sucks that Doug Thaylor was cut from the movie. This scene is one of the best in the movie as far as I am concerned.
Jump to hotel pool scene. The band is sitting around the pool and Ozzy yells out “Drinks are on me” while showing his bare ass(with money between his cheeks) to an old lady, then snorts ants and licks piss off the pool deck., and tells the band “Come here and have a talk with Uncle Ozzy” (If I had had Ozzy for an uncle, family reunions would have been wayyyyy cooler). Another great scene.
The band does not sugar coat the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle. As a car guy I have to point out that the car that Vince in the movie is a Corvette, but was actually a De Tomaso Pantera in real life. The scene in the car before the crash is pretty funny, although morbid. Vince asks “Who would you rather fuck? Cyndi Lauper or Boy George?” Razzle replies “How about neither” (The short stint Vince got in jail for vehicular manslaughter is a real joke, but since either he or the record company forked over $2 million, I guess money talks.)
The next scenes focus on Nikki strung out on heroin and listening to his mom on his voice mail. Then we see the daily routine of Tommy Lee on the road. Waking up chained to a bed, drink, meet radio dicks, go on stage, get stoned and drunk, go to strip joints, do stupid shit, get chained to bed, repeat. Doc allows Nikki’s mom to show up. She says “That song, Looks That Kill. It`s about me right”. Nikki freaks out and fires Doc. Nikki spirals out of control and for a guy who hates needles, I can hardly watch him injecting into any vein he can find. Nikki is strung out at Tommy’s wedding to Heather Locklear and causes a fight. He later overdoses and while one paramedic is about to call time of death, the other says “No that’s Nikki Fucking Sixx. He’s not gonna die in my ambulance” and gives him a shot of Noloxone into his chest, and Nikki lives. (This scene gives first responders a bad name, as if one life is worth more than another, but it was cool). Later Nikki convinces the band to go into rehab. The sober band records Dr. Feelgood and it becomes their first #1 album. While on the tour Vince and Tommy miss home and go back to drinking. Vince’s wife leaves him and he becomes unreliable. There is a funny scene in which Tommy wants to kick Vince out of the band. “It worked for Van Halen.” The scene shifts to Vince watching Van Halen on a tv interview. He takes the battery out of his phone and the band faxes him, ‘Get your ass over here.’ The band fights and Vince complains about the material (which turned into the self titled album, and that album rules so I have no idea) and quits the band.
Surprisingly the band do feature the John Corabi era. The band is interviewed and they mentioned they replaced Vince with someone better, and it’s about now and not the past. Vince is watching this in a bar and the bartender turns off the tv and says “Man they suck without you.” (There are a few scenes with Vince moping in a bar as if that is all he could do without Motley, even though he actually recorded solo albums)
The next scenes are about Vince’s daughter Skyler dying. I did tear up in this part. As a father of a young lady I can’t imagine losing her. I actually felt bad for Vince for the first time in my life. If a movie can make me care even a bit for Vince Neil, it really has done a good job.
The scene flips to Motley Crue before a concert in a mostly empty stadium and fans with ‘We Want Vince’ and ‘Bring Vince Back’ signs. My guess this was possibly true, but may have been more about the changing music scene. They may have been just as empty with Vince. It seems Corabi got the brunt of the blame here unjustly.
Nikki meets with Tom Zutaut and asks him to tell Elektra that the band will give up any money owed if the label will give them back their rights to the music and eventually it works. (Tom meets Nikki at the same table that they met at earlier and Tom mentions the woman under the table in their heyday. Nikki says “Not anymore”.
The band(minus John Corabi) meet with Vince and agree that the band is a family, and they want to get back together. Then the scene shifts to the final tour and some scrolling lines.
“All I can say is we fucking made it dude. I don’t know how we’re not dead or in jail. We shit on a lot of people and did things we regret everyday. But somehow we’re still here. In it together. That’s fate. That’s family, and that’s Motley Fucking Crue.”
The movie has its faults. It shows women in a bad light. There are a bunch of untruths, inaccuracies, and exaggerations. The casting left something to be desired, especially for the band members (unlike the amazing casting on Bohemian Rhapsody). Mick looks too good, and Vince is not nearly pretty enough. However, it did entertain me, made me feel bad for a douche bag, and included parts that the band seemed to have ignored. I am a fan of the band and have seen them a few times over the years. I had no ambition to see their final tour, but I really wanted to see this. It really is a pretty good flick. I say check it out and decide for yourself.