You’d think by this point that movies about the lives of musicians would have run it’s due course, but nope, such is not the case and I couldn’t be happier. The Runaways, directed by Floria Sigismondi tells the story of the Runaways, featuring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. If you don’t know who at least one of those people are, then go look them up, I’ll wait and go save the world or something in the meanwhile.
Initially I’m somewhat unsure about any movie containing Kristen Stewart, if for no other reason than her Twilight related history, but after seeing the trailer to this film I knew I had to see it by any means possible. Lo and behold I was not disappointed. It would be nice if I could just say The Runaways is a badass movie and be done with it, but alas that’s not how this works. Kristen Stewart is the shining gem of this movie; there are times when actors/actresses are forced to bring their A game to the table, this was Stewart’s. She masterfully owns the role of Joan Jett behaving as a chick who just doesn’t give a damn. As for Dakota Fanning, well, the last time I remember seeing her was back in War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise, when she was just an annoying brat who you wanted to slap around. Now though, she has certainly grown up, and she too takes the stage by storm, delivering an awesome performance.
The movie itself is pretty marvelous. I loved all the musical sequences and this may have something to do with how I love most music from the 70s and 80s and The Runaways certainly has its share of awesome rock. Beautifully shot, the visuals are quite remarkable; there’s an artsy vibe to the whole movie and it works. It’s also great how you get to see the relationships between the band members and the evolution of such.
If I found any fault within this movie, it’s probably that somewhere in Act II and right before Act III, there’s a lull that slows down the movie and a sense of boredom that takes over. This is probably due to the screenwriting and nothing else, since all the actors continue with the same strength as they did throughout the rest of the film. Additionally, even though the movie is called The Runaways the premise really seems to revolve around Stewart and Fanning, which is not a bad thing, but it would have been nice for some more diversity, because clearly the band involved more than just the two of them.
While bordering slightly on the edge of movies we’ve already seen like Almost Famous, but The Runaways is deliciously different. The songs are wonderful and the performances even more so, with some of the concert-related moments, such as when Fanning gets up on stage and rocks the casbah with her singing of ‘Cherry Bomb,’ leaving you humming the tune for awhile after having left the theater.