The Dirt is the latest Netflix movie about how Motley Crue became one of the most notorious rock ‘n’ roll groups of the 1980s. This movie spans essentially the entire career of the band and covers a lot of ground in less than 2 hours. Does this biopic fall into the same formulaic rock biopic formula or can rise above?
The Dirt follows the rock biopic story beat for beat. We see the start of their band, their rise through a montage of touring dates, drug addictions that comes with stardom, the fall out of the band and the eventual reunion of the group. Nothing new or special The Dirt has to offer other than showcasing the absolute absurdity and disgusting reputation of the band. I really appreciated how committed the film was to show just how insane this band was and how they ended up with the title of the “most notorious band ever”. This movie is not for the light of heart. They show a lot of the pretty revolting behind the scenes stuff the band was into. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll were all at the forefront of this film, loud and proud. I actually appreciated how honest this movie was with this material. This stuff actually happened and they don’t shy away from it as most biopics do. Bohemian Rhapsody barely scratched the surface of what Freddie Mercury’s life was really like behind the scenes. I wish that movie had adopted The Dirt’s honesty on the topic.
All 4 of our main actors do a fine job. They all seem like they are having a ton of fun in these roles. Just for a few of the more serious moments that require some emotion, the actors don’t perform as well. Daniel Webber had the most to deal with the most in that sense playing as Vince Neil. He does decently well but it’s nothing remarkable. Surprisingly Machine Gun Kelly as Tommy Lee was actually my favorite. He just seemed like he was having a blast doing the insane things Tommy Lee was known for doing. Like running around hotels drunk and naked screaming and knocking on peoples doors while destroying and trashing the hotel.
The story tries to balance so much at once and in such a short amount of time. Certain plot points are glossed over or are introduced and then go absolutely nowhere. Almost like the film forgot about them entirely. The Dirt falls exactly into the same formula that every rock biopic has. If you’ve seen any rock biopic, you could plot point this entire movie without even having seen it.
In a few scenes, certain characters will break the fourth wall and talk directly into the camera and right to the audience. It’s an interesting choice, that for me worked whenever they did it. They would fill some of the gaps that the movie had skipped over, such as addressing the fact the movie left out certain real-life people or explain the viewpoint of a certain character on the situation years after the fact. They use this device only a handful of times and I think it could’ve been explored a little more.
The Dirt is nothing new. It’s a story that tries to take on more than it can chew. Particular plot points and storylines are completely glossed over or dropped due to the fact this movie is trying to take on 4 uniquely different people’s story. Fun performances that don’t go much deeper than that, and a completely honest approach to the nasty things this band was involved in definitely boost this movie for me. If you’re a Motley Crue fan or if you’re a fan of over the top characters, The Dirt may be for you. If not, I’d skip it (especially for those who are easily offended by crude content). Go rewatch one of your favorite biopics instead.