Released in the US March 26th 2010
Released in the UK August 2010
Hot on the platform heels of witnessing 'Joan Jett'
play a great lip curling live show in Dublin last week.
I managed to get to see the new film based on the
story of her old band (The Runaways) and it was the
real deal with no holds barred. Was it worth the wait?
You bet it was!
So many years after the event, the story of the so called teenage
jail bait cuties 'the Runaways' finally makes it onto the big screen
(well it will in the UK later this summer).
This is no sugar sweet Hollywood vision with a fairytale
ending, the film is based on lead singer Cherie Currie's
book 'Neon Angel' and pulls no punches staying (mostly)
true to the facts (as far as I know the pissing on the
headline band's guitars in some backwoods club didn't
happen and where did fictional bass player 'Robin Robbins'
Family strife, personal tragedys, Internal band riffs and
rivalries, lesbianism, success, failure, the whole sex and
drugs and rock'n'roll glam obssessed circus straight from
'Rodney Biggenheimers English disco' is presented here
for all to see.
The Runaways were every spotty hormonely imbalanced
teenage boys Californian dream queens (of noise) in the
mid 70s. A glam/hard rock band that was later being pitched
for overdue kudos in the shadow of Iggy & the Stooges,
New York Dolls, MC5 to an emerging punk/new wave
They achieved limited international stardom (big in Japan),
a girl rock band in a macho environment who played their
own instruments which was a real rarity back then, 'put
together by the flamboyant but allegedly unhinged and very
obnoxious svengali 'Kim Fowley' played brilliantly here by
Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and Joan Jett (Kirsten
Stewart) are the obvious focal points in this version of the
story as they dominate the proceedings throughout.
Leaving Sandy West (RIP), Lita Ford to get very little time in
the spotlight or no screentime at all as in the case of Jackie
Fox and Vicki Blue, plus early members like Micki Steele (Bangles) and Peggy Foster.
The previously mentioned three actors/actresses playing the main characters in the movie are excellent choices, their performances are outstanding. They are perfect in
their roles. As we all know the band had a only a brief time in the glittering spotlight before disintegrating and falling apart. Some of the members carved out music biz,
art and acting careers with varying degrees of success whilst others just disappeared from view. 'The Runaways' is essential viewing and in my opinion a much better
testimonial to the band than the scrappy but well meaning 'Edgeplay' documentary from a few years back. Do not miss it!
Joe Donnelly - Belfast 29th June 2010