Movie Review: The Runaways (DVD)
Inspired by the memoir of former Runaway band member Cherie Currie, The Runaways chronicles the rise and fall of the 70s all-girl rock band The Runaways and stars Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart. Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) is a teen who idolizes David Bowie and has family problems. Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) is a tough girl who admires Suzi Quatro and dreams of starting an all-girl rock band. With the help of the greedy and eager music producer Kim Fowley, the two meet, form The Runaways with a few other girls, and embark on a rock n’ roll journey filled with sex, drugs, and music.
One of the great things about this film is the acting of Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart. When it came to looking and acting the part of their real-life counterparts, both women nailed it. Of the two, Kristen Stewart was the one who stood out to me the most. She looks and sounds so much like the teenage Joan Jett, it’s creepy.
Besides the acting, a surprising pleasure was the singing and performing. Instead of lip-syncing to the original recordings of The Runaways, Stewart and Fanning sing the songs themselves. While Kristen Stewart is no Joan Jett, her masculine vocals come pretty close to passing for the real thing. As for Dakota Fanning, her sultry vocals on songs like “Cherry Bomb” and “California Paradise” are sexy and really enjoyable.
Finally, the world around The Runaways was well displayed. The sex and drug use may make the film rated R, but they are appropriate for the time period and the rock n’ roll lifestyle The Runaways lived. Also, the soundtrack, which features songs by 70’s musicians like David Bowie and Suzi Quatro, did a great job of creating ambiance for the time period. Furthermore, scenes that showed how women weren’t respected as rock n’ roll musicians made me root for the band and enjoy certain Runaway songs more.
Overall, this was a pretty good film. It feels a bit rushed toward the end, but that’s the only flaw. I recommend this film to any music fan young and old.
Here is Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart in a promotional clip for the film performing “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways