STREAMER | The Runaways
Currently available via Lovefilm Instant
This film succeeded purely in wanting me to listen to some scuzzy punk rock. Possibly some of The Runaways or Joan Jett but probably only as part of a playlist of that genre. I didn’t need to sit through 100 minutes to get that feeling though, I was already tempted to shut the film off and revert to Spotify about ten minutes in and it doesn’t get any better. In fact it does purely because this film feels really fucking stupid and clichéd until they form the band and then it just feels clichéd and kind of stupid.
I can totally understand why Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning agreed to take these roles because there are a shortage of strong female leads in cinema, especially for those in their teens, but they are never given the opportunity to convince. The narrative seems rushed and never allows moments to build so, for example, when the band turn against Fanning’s Cherie Currie it happens abruptly and seems a little unwarranted. Perhaps they could have spent more time on these character and narrative developments and cut one of the fifty odd scenes of Michael Shannon mincing it up with the girls telling them to ‘think with their cocks’ or ‘you’ll get eaten up on that stage if you don’t act like a guy.’
And that’s the films other problem, The Runaways were an all-girl group in a music scene that, even today, is predominately filled with guys and so it’s not hard to get that point across but instead they hammer it home (for example the moment when Stewart’s Jett leaves a guitar practice where she is told that ‘girls don’t play electric guitars’ and she is shown walking away soundtracked by ‘It’s A Man’s World’) and yet simultaneously never seem to comment on it enough.
If you like scuzzy punk and you don’t mind some historical inaccuracies in order to not cloud the story then this might appeal to you. I’m not against either of those and still didn’t exactly like it.