Motley Crue is one of the strangest rock bands out there. It’s not because they’ve lacked impact or are not as important to the history of rock n roll as other bands are.
On the contrary, Motley Crue is arguably just as influential as any other band during that era, but it’s not because of their timeless music. Motley Crue’s collection of songs are fun to listen to, but it’s nothing too remarkable. Instead, the band’s real source of influence is off the stage.
Their infamous partying, no shits were
Just like any other biopic, like the recent Bohemian Rhapsody. The Dirt opens up from the very beginning of Motley Crue’s inception. The band’s bassist and founder, Nikki Sixx briefly narrates the time in which Motley was created, the crazy 80s, where everything went, especially an over excessive use of any type of hardcore substance you can get your hands on.
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Nikki comes from an abusive household, causing him to run away and eventually form a band with Tommy, Mick Mars, and lead vocalist Vince Neil. It’s important to bring up Motley’s lack of musical prowess. And its strengths in influencing pop culture outside of music because that is what The Dirt is all about.
The film takes a long look at what all four band members did outside of the stage rather than examining the impact they left on the music industry. Which is a bit different with Queen, whose music still has that lasting magical appeal to this day.
Who sings a Motley song like we sing a Queen song, right? And with The Dirt, you won’t get anything too profound or original. Nothing new or fresh is being brought to the table when it comes to musical biopics. But The Dirt, just like the band, is incredibly fun, fast-paced, and ridiculous.
It’s a perfect showcase that we don’t need biopics to always be overly serious and self-indulgent and high brow. That we can have some fun telling a true story without being too sappy. There are specific timelines in Motley’s history as a band the film touches on. Of course, once they all get popular and begin to go on tour with their platinum-selling records, the addiction and partying really kicks in.
This is where the best part of the movie shows up, and it’s none other than Ozzy Osbourne himself. Who tells the band not to overdo it on the drinking and partying while on tour. But he then just starts sniffing actual ants and drinking his own pee, so who’s he to give out advice.
Again, there’s not much to learn here or anything substantial that’s being said. These rock stars loved to party and they eventually paid the prize for it, whether it’s physically or emotionally. Rock stars live hard and fall harder, and Motley’s rise was incredible but its fall was that much more
Vince gets involved in a car crash that takes out a friend of the band, Tommy runs into issues with his marriage and cheating. Of course, while Nikki becomes a heroin addict. Nikki eventually overdoses and that near-death experience forces the band to go sober for a bit.
This is where Motley’s short comeback kicked in when they released one of their best records. Dr. Feelgood, and for a short time yeah, maybe they can do this while being sober. But of course, the relapse kicks in, with Vince and Tommy drinking again and Vince leaving the band in 1992.
Motley would get a new lead vocalist in John Corabi, but by the 1990s the band’s relevancy began to seriously wane. They were no longer the rock stars of the 1980s who were ready to take over the world. That inevitable fall came and lasted for quite some time, as each of the band members’ personal lives got worse and worse.
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Vince’s daughter died, Tommy got divorced. And the backlash to Vince’s departure was big, and a big reason why the band fell off. By the time you get to the end here, you know where the third act of The Dirt is going. If it were any other 80s band, this movie wouldn’t work as well.
By sacrificing the need to make something a bit more serious, you’d need to focus on a band that never took itself too seriously. Motley is the perfect band for this type of film, a breezy biopic that just tells a, mostly true story.
How you take it, interpret and criticize it is up to you. Eventually, Nikki gets everyone back together again, with The Dirt ending on Motley’s final live performance on New Years Eve 2015.