Movie Details

The RUNAWAYS

The film follows two friends, Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), as they rise from rebellious California kids to rock stars of the now legendary group that paved the way for future generations of girl bands. Joan and Cherie fall under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) who turns the group into an outrageous success and a family of misfits. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earns a name for itself. Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi, the film chronicles Joan and Cherie`s tumultuous relationship.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: M18
Release Date: 6 May 2010
Genre: Drama / Musical
Running Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes
Distributor: SHAW ORGANISATION
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Shannon
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Format: NA

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Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: “Factory Girl”

Mercury Records' Runaways were an all-girl band that lasted less than five years but their rhythm guitarist Joan Jett went on to form the Blackhearts and immortalised herself with hits like 'I Love Rock 'n' Roll' and 'I Hate Myself For Loving You' that play on radio and clubs even today. More post break-up stories include bassist Miki Steele joining The Bangles while her replacement Jackie Fox didn't even want to be mentioned in this movie so they had to create a fictional character in her place. So why make a movie about the band? Is theirs a story that needs to be told?

Joan Jett must think so, since she's the executive producer. For the regular moviegoer who's going to watch this because the two all-grown-up child actresses are in it (Twilight girl Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and the talented Dakota Fanning as lead singer Cherie Currie), then it's scarcely more than an off-beat biopic about some 70s band they've not heard of before. For the more familiar or the musically inclined, this "Runaways", itself based on Cherie Currie's memoirs you can read, is a stop-start affair that doesn't seem discuss anything worthwhile. Not that we're expecting to see "Rock Star" (2001) or "Hannah Montana" (2009) and feel good in la-la land - but a dirty, grungy picture such as this really warrants something deeper instead of the same ol' same ol'. Due to its formulaic narration, the movie does seem very self-important, as if we are asked to care for a band and its members who aren't very likeable despite decent character development.

Stylistically, Canadian photographer and MTV director Floria Sigismondi (who shot Marilyn Manson's 'The Beautiful People') could probably be happy with her first written and directed feature film. It's really the cast who sell the movie and deservedly so, as Fanning has been called a mini Meryl Streep for this turn and Stewart does add more credibility to her acting repertoire. Michael Shannon, whose standout performance in "Revolutionary Road" (2008) earned him an Oscar nomination, stars as eclectic producer Kim Fowley and delivers a bizarre performance that is both hammy and entertaining for what it's worth. A sequence depicting how he and the band came up with their hit 'Cherry Bomb' highlights Shannon's value for the film as a father figure to the girls whose anarchist values blur the line between loving and hating someone.

As a whole, "The Runaways" is like a real-life love letter to Cherie Currie from Joan Jett since a lot of the movie is about her triumphs and travails, more than the band dynamics or Joan Jett. Due to this, and the clear decision of style over substance, it's hard to fault anyone for liking something like "Walk The Line" (2005) better.

Cinema Online, 10 May 2010
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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