The Dirt: Mötley Crüe’s backstory on the big screen
Mötley Crüe is recognized to be one of the most influential and notorious bands in the world, and it was only a matter of time before their fans got a biopic of this group. Based on their autobiographical book titled The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, The Dirt mostly focuses on Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth), the co-founder and bassist of the band, and you get to see more of his troubled childhood and love for rock music. Later on, he decides to form a band that eventually becomes the wildly popular Mötley Crüe, and we get to see the highs and lows of their career. Directed by Jeff Tremaine, known for making all the Jackass films, he certainly showcases his crazy style of filmmaking in The Dirt.
Booth is the only one who actually brings a great performance as Nikki Sixx, as he shows a lot of charisma and energy in his role. As the movie goes on, you’re really invested in his passion for being in a band and rocking out. Iwan Rheon, Daniel Webber and Colson Baker, a.k.a. “Machine Gun Kelly,” are unfortunately pretty bland as the other members of Mötley Crüe, because they don’t stand out at all. They do have some fun moments at times even if they’re not all that interesting. But whenever they’re playing music, it’s amazing! That’s when the film shines, which proves once again that the soundtrack will always be the strongest point for any music biopic.
The movie is absolutely ridiculous for sure, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Tremaine has shown that he likes showcasing outrageous content to his audience, which you’ll know especially if you have seen any of the Jackass films. These four guys have done a lot of weird things in the past, and it is fascinating seeing that on screen. You have to commend the filmmakers for wanting to tell this story with an R Rating from the get-go. However, The Dirt tries to be edgy for the sake of it, and it eventually becomes exhausting to sit through.
Another problem with the film is that sometimes it’s all over the place. It lacks focus in its narrative structure because it tries to do so many things at once. It doesn’t take its time developing some important and sentimental scenes, which makes it feel rushed at times. The filmmakers try to show that these four men are flawed people, but it doesn’t really justify that fact. The humour will probably polarize a lot of people, and it is a mixed bag. It does have some entertaining moments with its absurdity, but sometimes it does compromise the drama.
The Dirt is not the worst biopic out there, but it’s not that memorable. It does a good reliving the band’s notorious backstory at times, but it doesn’t really showcase their legacy in a fulfilling way. Tremaine really tries his best to bring something new to the film, but he doesn’t really add anything that people would be willing to know more about the band. The movie might please Mötley Crüe fans, but this is one of those rare cases that it should have just stayed as a book.