Mötley Crüe's Netflix Movie: 'The Dirt'

March 22, 2019
Machine Gun Kelly as Tommy Lee; Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx; Daniel Webber as Vince Neil; Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars in 'The Dirt'
Jake Giles Netter/NETFLIX

Mötley Crüe is canceled! the newest agonising #MeToo-era music film highlights the ’80s metal touchstone’s conduct, that was hardly hidden from the general public however will currently be seen for the abuse it absolutely was right along. The lead singer, Vince Neil, killed a person whereas driving drunk. The percussionist, Tommy Lee, is shown punching his 1st betrothed within the face. Band members troubled innocent bystanders and destroyed their property whereas routinely treating girls like dishrags. Time’s au fait the glorification of all that.

Or not. The Dirt, a brand new Netflix biopic, is co-produced by Mötley Crüe and adapts the 2001 memoir the four bandmates co-wrote with the journalist Neil Strauss. it's a Walk Hard–style mythologizing of their stumble from dive-bar brawls to hydraulics-enabled arenas. That journey generated little enduring music however did facilitate set a visible model of male excess, a undeniable fact that the band members currently appear too thick to even appreciate. Aluminum-siding riffs and hernia-evoking growls don’t rule today’s charts, however the star rapper Travis Scott has been a minimum of repetition Tommy Lee’s onstage carnival equipment—a reality regarding that Lee has been raging in caps-lock on Instagram.

Saran-wrapped esthetically with Associate in Nursing unearned  sense of uplift, The Dirt is as dorky as Bohemian epos, which suggests it’ll most likely be a smash. On a scene-to-scene basis, the director Jeff Tremaine (best famed for Jackass) truly builds tension and tells a clearer story than Bryan Singer and dextral dramatist managed to try to to with last year’s Queen biopic. however the dramatic voice-over work by Tremaine’s four leads is mute-worthy alone. additional grating, particularly given the topic matter, the fresh-faced solid (Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, the rapper Machine Gun Kelly as Lee, Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon as Mickey Mars, Daniel Webber as Neil) radiates the friendliness of campaign politicians, even throughout its bleariest substance spirals.

Any disceptation started by the film are unenlightening. The film was slowed down in production for years, Sixx told Rolling Stone, as a result of a minimum of one studio boss objected to the gap scene: Lee giving perversion to a woman—in the center of a party—who then shoots a geyser from between her legs to the cheering of onlookers. The sequence winds up feeling less sort of a throwback to the ’80s brawl it depicts than to ’90s raunch-coms like yankee Pie. additional trollish than licitly offensive, it’s just about indicative of the matter here.

A equally outrageous flip later within the film gets at the deeper rot. At poolside with the fresh minted stars of Mötley Crüe, the dame of significant metal, Ozzy Osbourne, dispenses advice: Don’t do the medicine and sex travelling, boys, as an alternative you’ll find yourself “fucking mad.” presumptively for instance his purpose, he snorts a line of live ants. Then he pees on the bottom. Then he licks up his own pee. Sixx, impressed by his idol, pees on the bottom too. Ozzy pushes him away to lick up the younger man’s excreta before Sixx will do thus himself.

Yeesh. The depravity-chic of rock and roll will so work sort of a region, however Black day of rest a minimum of pioneered a sort of willful, satanic nihilism. By the time Ozzy’s vogue had been recycled by Mötley Crüe, any pretense of statement was gone. “Certain of metal’s trappings (long hair, loud guitars, a sort of spurious defiance) had been taken over, however this wasn't significant metal, as a result of it absolutely was not heavy: no doom, no drag,” wrote The Atlantic’s James Parker, reviewing a Crüe contemporary’s memoir. “Metal’s drama of cosmic exile was ditched in favor of a desperate, slurping hedonism.”

Self-indulgence is that the individual’s perquisite, however Crüe’s concerned quite simply the self and quite simply indulgence. That others got hurt or destroyed by Crüe’s rampages is hinted at within the Dirt’s litany of the members’ girlfriends and wives World Health Organization were cheated on and nonchalantly affronted. One friend, capital of Vietnam Rocks’s percussionist play, died within the automobile Neil had been drunkenly driving. The bandmates committed betrayals of the bottom kind among each other too. At one purpose, Neil, contemporary out of rehab, is obtainable what he believes to be a plate of hard drug, however that truly seems to be diacetylmorphine.


The Dirt is aware of it’s operating with dark stuff, however excuses it as a part of the nice journey to very cheap and back. By the end, with the reunited members performing arts Crüe’s final concert in 2015, the band’s survival is depicted as a life-affirming triumph: the terribly purpose of the story. “I can’t say that I disquieted,” Tremaine told Rolling Stone regarding creating this film within the #MeToo era. “We ar telling a real story that happened. you'll be able to interpret it but. I don’t suppose we have a tendency to modified the tone of the film to suit the days or something like that.”

But the general public record says that the story was even nastier than what’s shown here. Lee visited jail for combat his then spouse, Pamela Anderson, in 1998. Neil pleaded guilty to assaulting a girl in 2016. The band settled a suit with a guard World Health Organization alleged they aforementioned racist slurs to him, poured brew on him, and directed the gang to attack him at a 1997 concert. 2 further passengers not pictured within the film suffered brain harm from Neil’s DUI wreck. Most glaring: The memoir The Dirt includes a passage during which Sixx cops to Neil and Lee “pretty much” raping a girl at a celebration. The scene isn’t within the film, and Sixx currently says he has no recollection of the event and sure created it up in a very intoxicated  haze whereas giving interviews to their author.

There it's, the one line that even Mötley Crüe currently can not brag of crossing: rape. however Sixx’s disclaimer comes at a cultural moment once it’s become clear however men afforded a way of impunity—especially by fame—really will cross any conceivable line. Glaringly, the film declines to explore that concept or the other rationalization for the way the fellows acted. whereas Sixx is shown as having a mad relationship along with his mother, Lee came from a contented home. It’s not even clear whether or not the titillation of the general public fueled  or just followed the guys’ behavior. “They weren’t like alternative bands World Health Organization raised hell as a result of they thought that’s what rock stars were alleged to do,” the group’s tour manager says within the film. “Mötley Crüe did stupid things as a result of they were Mötley Crüe.” The danger of a document just like the Dirt is in showing resoluteness as not solely fun and funky, however conjointly elemental, cryptical, and unbeatable. Boys are boys, boys, boys.

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