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October 4, 2010 | by  | in Film |
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The Runaways

The Runaways
Director: Floria Sigismondi
With Kirsten Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon

Recent music biopics like Ray, Walk The Line and I’m Not There have been about prolific musicians who are now coming to the end of their careers. These films are as much tributes to the musicians as they are a dramatic recreation of their lives. The Runaways, on the other hand, deals with a band that released one album and had limited success over a short number of years. The limited success of the band and their fleeting career gives the film a limited scope, and the emphasis of musical numbers over story makes The Runaways nothing more than a 90 minute music video interspersed with what attempts to pass as dramatic scenes.

The film’s biggest problem is its structure. It follows the stories of the young Joan Jett (Kirsten Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) as music producer Ken Fowley (Michael Shannon) brings them together to form The Runaways. Once the band is formed every music biopic cliché befalls the two girls. The drugged-up phone call to the dying father. Tick. Lesbian make-out scenes. Tick. Getting mobbed by Japanese fans. Tick. Currie’s ego eventually tearing the band apart. Tick. Whether these events actually happened or not is irrelevant; the presentation of the material (especially an overdosed Currie falling out of an elevator when the doors open) is so unoriginal and hackneyed I wonder why they bothered. To make matters worse these scenes pass for the film’s story.

Kristen Stewart shows promise and begins to escape from the vampire’s curse, but is limited by weak direction and a non-existent story. Dakota Fanning has even less to do, required only to sing and look pretty (she succeeds). In fact, Shannon steals the film so completely as the eccentric, made-up, deviant Fowley that one wonders how he does not get more work. The people who made The Runaways need to learn that two hot young actresses, flashy cinematography and a soundtrack full of popular music will not ever disguise the fact their movie has no story.

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  1. jip says:

    Coming to the end of their careers? Ray Charles and Johnny Cash are dead.

  2. smackdown says:

    no theyre alive in my heart dont go breaking my heart

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