Since the time we hear about (almost 15 years) the biographical drama on Mötley Crüe, “The Dirt” is finally available on Netflix. This complacent and ill-conceived TV movie, based on the quartet’s book of the same name, tells the story of the glam metal band’s first decade of decadence and excesses, more known for its off-stage antics than its formatted music.
“The 80s, the worst decade of humanity. Preppies , keyboards, stupid haircuts … “said the voice-over at the beginning of the feature film. And “what do we do when we are born at the wrong time? We take it. “Well, the ambitions of the guys in Los Angeles were not very high: sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. There is a lot of talk about the first two, by the way, not really any music in The Dirt.
A long introduction allows each member of the group to introduce themselves: bassist and composer Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars and singer Vince Neil.
With their excessive and theatrical look, Mötley Crüe comes at a good time: MTV’s debut. The repetitive scandals are making headlines and placing the quartet on an upward slope. From Ozzy’s first tour (reduced to a grotesque caricature) to the packed arenas, success is on their minds.
Their consumption is out of control, as is shown by The Dirt, hotel rooms destroyed until the overdose of Sixx in 1987 (the bassist was declared dead for two minutes before being resuscitated by two doses of adrenaline).
This superficial bias also translates into the tone of the film, which sometimes resembles Spinal Tap (1984), the parody documentary by Rob Reiner. But congratulations for the reconstruction of time, quite the point, even in the excerpts of shows. It is missing important moments, but we can not put everything.
Badly played and poorly directed, the film glorifies debauchery – the trademark of Mötley Crüe. It is consequent, but very repetitive. Especially the dramatic issues, pretexts, are treated superficially, Sixx’s problems with his mother at the death of Neil’s daughter, cancer.
Same thing for the (many) groupies of the group, who are either ready for all forms of enslavement, or hysterical – one can understand the context, but it is reductive and misogynistic.
The Dirt, in the background, looks much more like a (long) infopub intended to boost the soundtrack that accompanies its release, a compilation of the successes of Mötley Crüe which includes a version of Like a Virgin … Without comment.
One can hardly expect more than one feature film produced by the group, which is obviously more busy mythifying its beginnings than thinking about the consequences. For there was, including the accident that killed Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley of Hanoi Rocks, killed in 1984 when Vince Neil was driving while intoxicated. In an interview for the release of the film, the blond singer said he did not regret the time. Uplifting.
No reflection, therefore, on this spiral of self-destruction that sucked members of Mötley Crüe down. The film is the image of the group, remarked my friend Sophie, a fervent debut: full of defects, but really very fun for the fans.