With the success of biopics like 'Bohemian Rhapsody", Hollywood will be seeing an influx of musician biopics, to say the least. While some of those are awaiting release, some are under production.
"The Dirt", directed by Jeff Tremaine, is a Netflix original biopic about Mötley Crüe - the glam metal band from the 1980s - glorifying the crazy lifestyle of the band members with an abundance of "sex, drugs and rock n roll".
Most of the references and anecdotes of the Netflix film come straight from Neil Strauss's book, "The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band" - a compendium of tales about Mötley Crüe.
Head's up - The Dirt is not a family friendly movie. Don't watch it with anyone who gets easily offended. The film contains elements of frequent nudity, violence, drug abuse and profanity. Mötley Crüe was no kid-friendly band.
Four American misfits fatefully met and formed the band Mötley Crüe. The band soared to stardom, wore women's attire and pulled pranks no one asked for. Narrated by the on screen band members themselves, The Dirt tells the story of the highs and lows of Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil.
Frank Carlton Feranna Jr (Douglas Booth) was raised by an alcoholic mother whom he could not stand anymore. So, he ran away from home and desperately tried to reconnect with his biological father. Failing to reach him, he legally changed his name to Nikki Sixx.
The following year, Nikki was playing with the band "London" but eventually split. Fatefully enough, a 19-year-old Tommy Lee (Machine Gun Kelly) stumbles upon Nikki at a diner and expresses his love for London. Only then, Nikki reveals that he parted ways with the band and wants to form a new band. Tommy was a drummer, so the duo befriended each other in no time. Together, they started auditioning musicians to find the perfect fit for their band.
After jamming with a number of musicians, Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon) was selected to play the lead with Nikki and Tommy. It is soon discovered that Mick has a chronic bone degenerative disease. But the misery and suffering can wait as Mötley Crüe was on a quest to find their vocalist.
Tommy suggested someone he attended high school with. Vince Neil (Daniel Webber), a cover band singer, comes in to try out as the singer. His singing complemented the speed and noise the band demanded. Hence, Vince became the vocalist and Mötley Crüe was set to rock LA nightclubs in the coming years.
After selling out a show at a nightclub, Mötley Crüe is approached by a recording company representative. The company offered them a five album deal and the band had no reason to say no.
Soon, Mötley Crüe was touring with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne. Their earnings reached as much as a million dollars overnight, which they exploited to no ends. Mötley Crüe was a notorious band and they crossed every frontier of decency. Throughout the third act of the film, the band goes through horrendous lows in their lives. Divorce, death of loved ones, drug overdose, trust issues - you name it.
Overall, The Dirt is not entirely honest with the audience. It highlights controversies and triumphs, like most biopics. There are moments when you will doubt what you see, and if you dig deeper, you will find that the movie looks different from reality. The acting is average (was not expecting a Rami Malek performance, anyway). And not every movie is destined to win awards and please critics.
Despite the inaccuracies, The Dirt doesn't fail as a fun and entertaining piece of nostalgia. If you are a rock n roller at heart, this Mötley Crüe biopic can be a good watch for the sake of music.