Well, I just watched the entire, unedited Runaways movie. It had some strong points and weak points. I will focus on the strong points first and then move to the weak points.
The movie seemed very realistic. When I was watching it, I actually thought I was watching the Runaways have their music career. If a movie manages to make you think that the characters are who they are portraying, then you know it is well directed and acted at least.
The acting was really good from all of the actors. The actors who were supposed to portray mean characters like Kim Fowley, the notorious manager for the Runaways, who brutally pushed them to their limits, and Lita Ford, who had apparently a big issue with Cherrie Currie were well portrayed by their actors. The characters I liked more such as Joan Jett and Sandy West, the friendly drummer for the Runaways who we actually dont’ see too much of in the movie, were also well portrayed to keep the movie well balanced between nice and mean characters.
The movie also didn’t spare any punches. They completely throw you into the life of sex, drugs and rock and roll that I’m sure the Runaways had. They show you every dramatic moment and every crappy thing that happens to the Runaways. They even show you Joan Jett pissing on some guitars that belong to some other band members who gave them a hard time for being women.
The first six scenes were all focused on building up the characters of the two main stars of the movie and the Runaways music group, Joan Jett and Cherrie Currie, the lead vocalist for the Runaways. They alternate between Cherrie Currie with the odd scenes and Joan Jett with the even scenes in a clear way that is easy to follow. The Runaways eventually all form together and the rest of the movie follows them around until they split up and then it focuses on the characters of Joan Jett and Cherrie Currie again with a particular focus on their relationship that is strained due to band conflicts but remains strong to the end. I have heard before that Joan Jett is not only a great musician and tough woman but also a very loyal friend. I thought the order of the scenes was very clear and easy to follow.
The music for the movie is great as it should be and mostly comprised of songs by the Runaways and some songs from Joan Jett that were made after the Runaways. They also had some music from their influences like David Bowie, who was a big inspiration for Cherrie Currie to be a rock star.
Cherrie Currie actually at the beginning of the movie makes herself look like David Bowie by cutting her hair, painting her face and performing some kind of alternative dance on stage with a David Bowie song but is booed off the stage. As she leaves she gives the universal punk rock symbol, double middle fingers, to the audience, which starts her down the disillusioned, gritty, in your face path of punk rock.
It was wonderful to see Joan Jett portrayed so well in the movie. She had a great personality and appearance. I definitely found myself infatuated with Joan Jett like I knew I would be. Her sticking up for Cherrie Currie when Lita Ford and Kim Fowley were bullying her in the studio and rebelling against Kim Fowley by throwing stuff around the studio and yelling at him made for a great scene that shows Joan Jett is a loyal friend and she won’t put up with any shit.
Now for the problems I had with the movie. There were some inappropriate parts. While I know this stuff happened, the opening scene with Cherrie Currie having her first menstrual cycle was somewhat awkward to watch and other scenes like Cherrie Currie playing with herself in a shower and the amount of harsh language used was probably inadvisable.
There was a lot of angst in the movie, which made the movie very heavy to watch. After I finished the movie, I was satisfied with the movie, but I immediately looked for something funny such as Family Guy to watch on TV because there was very little humor or even breathing room during the movie.
Characters who I disliked such as Kim Fowley and Lita Ford were almost played a little too well. I really ended up disliking both of them. I knew from what I had heard of Kim Fowley that he would be a dickwad, but I still disliked watching him boss around the Runaways who were blindly being led on by him. He eventually betraya them when he has some pictures taken of Cherrie that lead to inner band turmoil because Lita Ford thinks that Cherrie is getting too much personal publicity. After he puts them through all of this shit, he continues on with them and doesn’t have any remorse whatsoever, which makes him truly a despicable character as far as I can tell.
I did not like Lita Ford either for pushing Cherrie Currie around, who I know wasn’t perfect. Cherrie definitely had issues, too, what with walking out on her family, but at least she eventually returned to them. Cherrie genuinely seemed to want to do what was best for the band, though, and Lita just thought that Cherrie was doing it for herself and harshly misjudged her.
For a final rating I would give this movie a decent rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. I’m glad I watched it, but I doubt I will watch this heavy, angsty movie again, even though I love Joan Jett a lot.