06 September 2010

The Runaways (2010)

The Runaways are bigger now than they have ever been. That’s good for some (mainly Joan Jett who owns the rights to the music) and not so good for others (those members of the band who can’t capitalise on the increased fan base).

This film is based on the book by singer, Cherie Currie, and guitarist Joan Jett is executive producer. That gives the film credibility but also means the film may be a little biased in its representation of the facts. Currie (Dakota Fanning – Twilight New Moon, Push), Jett (Kristen Stewart – Twilight, Jumper) and, to a lesser extent, the band’s manager, Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon – Bug, Dead Birds) are the focus of the film. Drummer Sandy West and guitarist Lita Ford are virtually ignored, while Jackie Fox had her name excluded from the film and the replacement bassist is known as Robin (played by Alia Martine – Whip It, Arrested Development).

The Runaways is a glossy version of band’s story, and most of the unpleasant events in the group’s tumultuous career are ignored and replaced by a girl’s own adventure. Jett comes across as a flawless demigod, Currie as an innocent girl gone wild, and Fowley as a not too slimy manipulator. The movie may be sanitised view of these revolutionary musicians, but Stewart and Fanning are convincing, there is a general air of fun and excitement, and the costumes and music are wonderful. If you want to know more of what went on, there is always Edgeplay for a more intimate look at the drugs and bickering and abuse. If you just want a good time, then stay with The Runaways.

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