I’m going to go ahead and spoil this review for you right now. This was my favourite movies of 2010. I love it. I have my problems with it (not enough Lita Ford, mostly) but I really, really, really love it.
The Runaways mostly chronicles on the rise and fall of the all-girl band. Although, it rarely takes it focus off of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, and plays a bit fast and loose with the facts. It’s filmed in a lush 70s style, complete with elements of that era’s cinematic flourishes. It just oozes cool.
Prior to seeing this, as a fan of The Runaways, I was worried. I had all the preconceptions that Twilight and a wealth of crappy biopics could offer. While the film is impeccably cast, Kristen Stewart completely blew my mind as Joan Jett. She completely embodies the role. I almost couldn’t tell the difference. Her voice, her mannerisms, her swagger is classic Jett.
In a film populated by excellent performances and pitch-perfect impersonations, Michael Shannon still manages to swipe every scene he is in, with his throat-achingly intense portrayal of music producer Kim Fowley.
The Runaways plays as a sort of Almost Famous meets Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, and it’s easy to see why. Stains is almost a riot-grrl tinged fiction of The Runaways, and it’s nice to see it come full circle with this movie borrowing a few beats from Stains.
Sure, Dakota Fanning’s Cherie Currie voice needs some work (although the Cherry Bomb chorus is perfect) but The Runaways is the best rock biopic in a seriously long time. Lita or no Lita. It’s funny, sexy, and cool. A big recommend.