The Dirt | Chicago Reader

The Dirt

If you ever wondered if there was anything more to Mötley Crüe than scuzzy glam metal and shallow, ego-driven debauchery, The Dirt, the new biopic based on the band’s no-holds-barred collective autobiography of the same name, will not answer your question—not that anyone’s watching for that reason. Like many movies about still-living celebrities, it presents a whitewashed vision of the artists it depicts, and that seems especially strange when those artists are practically synonymous with 80s excess and bad behavior (including, for some members, domestic assault). There are plenty of fantastic movies about difficult personalities and antiheroes, and the story of Mötley Crüe could have a place in that tradition. Instead, a flat narrative and mostly one-dimensional characters land The Dirt somewhere between cheeseball buddy flick and Lifetime movie melodrama. Even Airheads, the 1994 comedy that spoofed Sunset Strip hard-rock culture, had a more gripping storyline and emotional arc (and certainly more laughs) than this tale of a real band that helped define that scene.

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