Motley Crue are one of rock's most notorious bands and while The Dirt doesn't hold back from dipping into the waters of their depravity, it spends more time painting them as heroes deserving of worship than showing any of the real depth or grit in their journey; it's the definition of a vanity project.
The film is based on a book written by Motley Crue members Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth), Tommy Lee (Colson Baker aka Machine Gun Kelly), Vince Neil (Daniel Webber) and Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon), and author Neil Strauss, but it becomes a much more sanitised version of events for the screen.
It's being sold as a no-holds-barred look at the band's sex and substance-fuelled career and yes, there are scenes and montages dedicated to those pursuits, but it feels like the film has only been produced to allow the band members to pat themselves on the back for being such full-time legends back in their heyday.
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There is nothing glamorous about drug addiction, objectification of women or fatal car crashes while driving under the influence, but The Dirt brushes over these things with very little fallout. Vince goes to jail, Nikki overdoses and Tommy hits his fiancé, but then its straight back to the band and how they stay together through it all and continue on rocking. Aren't Motley Crue just great.
With such source material, had less gloss been lavished onto proceedings this could actually have been eye-opening and enthralling, while also serving as a cautionary tale and a nod to the glory days of rock 'n' roll, after all you don't have to like the people in a film to enjoy it, but the tone is too buoyant and it feels uneven as a result.
A saving grace comes in the form of Colson Baker who plays drummer Tommy Lee very well; the parts of the film focusing on him are its only real highlights.
It needed to be dirtier.