The Runaways - What an awesome idea to make a movie about the Runaways, the iconoclastic teenage-girl LA punk band that blazed trails and kicked all kinds of ass along the way. What a bummer that The Runaways is the fruit of that idea. The two lead actors, Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie, do what they can with underwritten parts, and therein lies the problem: way too much time is devoted to flamboyant (male) producer, Kim Fowley, played beyond the brink of hamminess by Michael Shannon. Director/ screenwriter Floria Sigismondi seems hellbent on cramming as much Fowley into the picture as possible, meanwhile almost completely ignoring one half of the band. What the hell, Floria? We're here for the chicks, not the dude! And I'm not sure how all the showoff photography fits into a narrative that needed to be more raw and real, but there sure are a lot of shots that would be better served in something by, say, Julian Schnabel. Kudos to cinematographer Benoit Debie, I guess, for being talented with the camera.
Look, it's not like The Runaways is a bad flick. It's pretty well packaged and moves along at a decent pace. Sigismondi based her film on Currie's book Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway, so maybe she's just sticking to her source. Even so, these girls took big risks to make it in a male dominated industry. Too bad this film takes none in telling their story. 2.0 McBones