The true story of the success and debauchery of
Los Angeles glam metal superstars Mötley Crüe.
The Dirt (2019)
Directed by Jeff Tremaine
Written by Rich Wilkes and Amanda Adelson
Starring Douglas Booth, Iwan Rheon, Machine Gun Kelly,
Daniel Webber, Pete Davidson, David Costabile
Based on the book by Tommy Lee, Mick Mars,
Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, and Neil Strauss
Musician-based biopic are extremely formulaic. They come from nothing, they befriend future bandmates, they hit it big, they break up due to drugs, sex, or untimely death, they wallow, they reunite, and there's hope for the future as the credits roll. Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and The Dirt that exact same formula, and that's not a bad thing. It's just the typical real-life arc of a rock star. What makes The Dirt so entertaining is how it approaches the formula. Each member of the band takes the spotlight at different times to tell their piece of the story, and holy shit what a crazy story it is. If you know anything about
Mötley Crüe, you know that they were more about the crazy rock star lifestyle then they were about music.
The Dirt is based off the band's autobiography, and they were all producers on the film. With that in mind, I'm guessing this movie is more accurate than you'd think. The performances are all great, with Iwan Rheon shining as Mick Mars, in my opinion. There's not much of a story here, just like there wasn't really a plan in real life. But we get to see glimpses of events like the gross-out contest with Ozzy Osbourne and Nikki Sixx's death by heroin overdose and subsequent resurrection. I also learned things about the band, such as Vince Neil's daughter's untimely death and Nikki's quest to secure the rights to the band's music. It's an entertaining and crazy movie at the least.
This is not a film you should watch with your kids or parents in the room. Mötley Crüe made a name for themselves by being as wild and crazy as humanly possible, and their legacy is built on sex, drugs, and rock & roll more than most. But if you want a movie's worth of wild music, great performances, and crazy shit you'd have to be there to believe, this film is right up your alley.