The Dirt is a biopic of the band Mötley Crüe, based on the book written by Neil Strauss and the band themselves. Like any other Rockstar biopic, it tells the story of the band’s meteoric rise to fame and any of the more dramatic and troublesome events that occurred during their lives together as a band. Mötely Crüe certainly had a lot of troublesome times – although that’s mostly brought on by their own chaotic, anarchic behaviour.
Founded in 1981; Nikki Six (Douglas Booth), Vince Neil (Daniel Webber), Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon) and Tommy Lee (Machine Gun Kelly credited as Colson Baker) were brought together and soon gathered a small but devoted fandom proving that fame was not far away. Unlike other biopics though, where the focus of the film would be on one band member over the others, the movie has the band quite literally fighting over screen time to tell their own story.
It uses voiceovers to interrupt scenes and fourth wall breaks to remind the audience that this is their story and not everything may be the whole truth and it helps to bring the sense of fun and non-conformity that surrounded the band’s career.
If I were to say there was any focus though, I would say that it was on Nikki Six whose troubled childhood of neglect led him to being homeless and down a path of heroin addiction. However, as the movie plays out the audience realises that Nikki is not the only one with problems.
Amongst the scenes of chaos and debauchery there are moments filled with real emotions which ground the band as a group of real people and doesn’t just rely on the moments where the band come up with their greatest songs to drive the story. In fact, I would go as far to say that Mötley Crüe’s music barely features in the movie. Besides the music that is played over some scenes, their music serves more as a soundtrack rather than a point of interest for fans of the band.
I’m not entirely sure anybody is that interested in how the band came up with such titles as ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and ‘Ten Seconds to Love’, but by showing what the band did with their money and fame I’m sure the audience has a good idea of what inspired them.
The movie does hit some dull notes though. Particularly in an infamous poolside scene featuring Ozzy Osborne where Tony Cavalero’s impression all but forgets Osborne’s Birmingham accent. Also, Mick Mars’ ongoing condition is mentioned, but perhaps due to a lack of budget in the makeup department is never portrayed properly.
It is refreshing to see a biopic that includes a person with a disability and doesn’t make it all about them, but at the same time I feel that the film doesn’t have much else to say about Mars so out of all the band members he is the one that is the most pushed to one side.
Ultimately though, The Dirt is a satisfying music biopic that gives the audience a taste of the band and at the same time deals with more serious and intimate things that other biopics could be accused of glossing over. This movie is not for the feint of heart and right from the start it sets the tone so those with a more sensitive disposition can leave as soon as they like. However, for those who want a fun, eye opening portrayal of one of the craziest rock bands in music history then this is the film for you.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.