Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
Music in the Bible
GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.
Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality
|Featuring:||Kristen Stewart—“Twilight” (Joan Jett), Dakota Fanning (Cherie Currie), Michael Shannon (Kim Fowley), Stella Maeve (Sandy West), Scout Taylor-Compton (Lita Ford), Alia Shawkat (Robin), Danielle Riley Keough (Marie Currie), Johnny Lewis (Scottie), Tatum O'Neal (Cherie’s Mom), Brett Cullen (Cherie’s Dad), Hannah Marks (Tammy), Jill Andre (Aunt Evie), Pamela Dunlap (Aunt Evie), Ray Porter (Band Member), Kiaya Snow (Cashier), Allie Grant (Club Girl), Brendan Sexton III (Derek), Shammy Dee (DJ), Daniel D. Lee (Fobby Paparazzo), more »|
|Producer:||River Road Entertainment, Linson Entertainment, Road Rebel, Runaway Productions, David Grace, Joan Jett, Kenny Laguna, Art Linson, John Linson, William Pohlad, Jonathan Sanford, Sabrina Sipantzi, Brian Young|
“It’s 1975 and they’re about to explode.”
“The Runaways” is a partially fictionalized biopic of the 1970s all-girl group of the same name. The group is perhaps best known for their hit “Cherry Bomb” and also for paving the way for more all-girl groups to find success in the male-dominated world of rock 'n roll.
Based on the lead singer’s memoir, the story of Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) takes the forefront. She was only 15 when producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) recruited her to become the lead singer of The Runaways. Some glimpses of her home life are provided in the way of her twin sister and drunken father. While arguably the best known former member is Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) no back-story is ever provided of Jett or even Lita Ford. The remaining band mates are almost invisible in the storytelling, one even being completely invented.
The film’s main objective is to show the band’s creation, brief run, and demise. With this ambition, it lacks dialogue and character development. Most of the dialogue is confined to the vulgarity the teen girls succumbed to in order to be shaped into Fowley’s vision of a “successful” band. While the group was together for five years, those years are blurred together in the film, appearing only as a few gigs and a trip to Japan. The movie takes the familiar biographical road of drug binges, tour dates, strained family ties, and clashing egos. While extremely well acted, time should have been taken to create well-rounded characters and a stronger ending where their emergence from their afflictions is better demonstrated. Perhaps this would have helped the film not have such a bitter aftertaste.
The offensive content in this film is extremely high and disturbing, especially the sexual content. There’s a lengthy scene of one of the band members trying to masturbate while looking at photos of nude men. When that doesn’t work, Jett recommends that she think of different people, such as Farrah Fawcett. There are several lesbian kisses. After sharing a kiss, there’s a montage of scenes, implying a sexual encounter between Currie and Jett. There are two topless scenes. There’s a graphic sex scene between Fowley and an unknown woman. While having sex with her, he speaks with Jett on the phone. There are also multiple crotch grabs while making crude comments. In the beginning of the film, Currie tells her sister’s boyfriend that her sister is not wearing any panties; he immediately smiles and puts his hand between her legs. Dakota Fanning is shown in lingerie and poses in just panties and a halter top for a photo shoot. The camera shots would sometimes linger on different parts of Fanning’s body in the lingerie. Kristen Stewart is, also, shown in just her underwear and t-shirt.
In addition, there are also several scenes of drunkenness, snorting up cocaine and smashed-up pills. As an act of revenge, Joan Jett pulls her pants down and urinates on another band’s guitars. Currie flips off her high-school classmates when they boo her during a talent show. In the beginning of the film, Currie starts her period and then pulls down her underwear to place toilet paper on it.
The majority of the dialogue is pervasively coarse and saturated with profanity. There are multiple uses of the words c*ck and p***y. Fowley uses these obscene words when instructing the girls on how to sell themselves on stage. There are over 75 uses of profanity, including at least 45 “f” words.
A pivotal moment in the film is during Cherie Currie’s audition. Understandably excited, she willingly sings the words of the future hit “Cherry Bomb,” until she reaches the first part of the sexually derogatory lyrics. When she refuses to sing the obscene words, Fowley intimidates her by opening the trailer door, telling her to leave. Joan Jett attempts to comfort Currie by stating it’s “just a song.” And with the acceptance of those few lines, Currie begins her destructive life with The Runaways. In James Chapter 3, he writes just how lethal and life-altering the tongue can be, despite its size. In verse 5-6, James writes:
“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire.”
I strongly advise Christians to completely avoid “The Runaways.” The immoral content is constant and heavy throughout the film’s entire run, and it grieved my Spirit. While one might argue the point that this movie accurately reflects the rock 'n roll era when drugs and sex were heavily present, I’d have to concur, but we should not subject ourselves to viewing this immorality, especially in the absence of strong triumph. By the end credits, we get a few meager lines and audio samples of Jett’s latter success and Currie’s win over drug addiction and her helping other teens. While this is very commendable, the film should have focused more on these successful aftermaths. However, the movie predominately showed how a group of young, impressionable girls from broken homes were pushed into a sinful world and sadly reaped what was sown.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.