[Review] Netflix's Mötley Crüe Biopic 'The Dirt'

Love it or hate it, fans everywhere are raving about the new Mötley Crüe movie on Netflix. They did alter the timeline of events slightly, but overall I think it worked well on the screen and it makes the story less confusing to the audience who hasn’t read The Dirt or know much about Mötley Crüe’s history. I really liked the layout overall of how the story was represented. The bio-flic starts off at the old Mötley house on Sunset Strip. It gradually introduces each band member and their distinctive personality traits from Nikki’s perspective. I really think the actors perfectly captured the essence in who these men were and are. There are certain nuances and quirks they picked up on and that’s something I could really appreciate. Tommy has always been a lover and very enthusiastic, Nikki at that time was definitely lost in his emotions, past, and thoughts but determined, Vince was able to wring in lots of women and was generally always trying to enjoy life, and Mick was always sort of witty despite his disease eating at him. I really looked forward to people’s reactions of Mick, knowing they underestimate him.

Then it goes into a brief history of his past growing up with his mother before he left and when he legally changed his name to Nikki Sixx to dissociate with his father’s name. Tommy Lee now narrates about his happy, supportive upbringing and his usual hangouts and it shows him first meeting Nikki. Swiftly, were led to guitar player try outs and they first meet Mick Mars from the newspaper wanted section. Tommy tells the band his high school buddy Vince Neil Wharton will be the guy they’re looking for. After rehearsing together, coming up with a band name, and brawling at their first gig, they quickly become the Kings of the Sunset Strip and get signed with Elektra Records, which means much bigger parties. There’s a great montage of shenanigans while the full song of “Take Me to the Top” I loved that choice as that’s one of my favorite songs.

We’re now onto the Shout at the Devil tour, their first real tour supporting Ozzy Osbourne. One of the most notorious parts of the novel was Ozzy’s behavior on tour with them. Tommy Lee would get into competitions with Ozzy and trying to snort everything he did. Ozzy tops him with snorting fire ants down at the pool of the hotel, and also other crazy antics at this pool scene. This was just a warm-up for all of the things they’ll show, about how they did a lot of things behind each other’s backs and just their terrible decisions overall. They were spending their money as fast as they were making it, terrorizing people in the cities they went to, using hard drugs, and sleeping with each other’s girlfriends. One of the turning points on the path of sobriety was Vince Neil’s car accident from driving under the influence that killed his best friend and drummer, Razzle from Hanoi Rocks. He was arrested for drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter, and he served less than 30 days in prison.

They’re very strung out and they can barely record. Nikki thought Vince was the problem after the car accident, though it was his heroin use that started killing the band. Nikki is the main creative force behind the band, but was losing sight on what was going on with him and everything around him. Seeing his mother unexpectedly around Christmastime really escalates his addiction, and he is unable to keep from shooting up on Tommy’s wedding day to Heather Locklear. It was touching to hear Tommy’s perspective on Nikki’s addiction, how he realized how depressed Nikki really was now in hindsight. This leads us up to one of the most infamous tales of the Crüe, Nikki Sixx’s overdose and temporary death. There’s a few disturbing and graphic scenes of Nikki’s heroin use and the side effects leading up to his overdose. Nikki Sixx’s overdose had people thinking he actually died for a while before he was resuscitated. He ended up relapsing a few times before becoming completely clean since July 2, 2001.

[Related: Motley Crue Told They'll Never Be Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame]

It touches on the overall attempt of all 4 of them to get clean and their ability to get back in the studio to record Dr. Feelgood, which ended up being their first number one album on Billboard. Though through the stress at home and being sober on the road, tensions run high and Vince leaves Crüe. John Corabi replaces him for their next album, but the fans don’t care about it as much. During this time, Vince is also consumed with his daughter Skyler’s deteriorating condition as she’s diagnosed with cancer and eventually passes and the young age of 4. It was so heart wrenching to see Vince’s grief. There’s an inconsistency in the timeline with the movie that Skyler was born too soon, but I understand their decision of the placement for the time’s sake. However. I think The Dirt should’ve been longer overall and that’s one thing that could’ve been included to do their story more justice.

Nearing the end, Vince rejoins Mötley Crüe, Mick has a surgery to help improve his mobility, Nikki is alive, and Tommy is ready to go spinning on his drumset. I think the ending was well done and extremely touching. They did so many insane things and came out of it alive and despite their wrongs, continue to move forward every day and have people to support them. That was inspirational and moving for me.

Mötley Crüe’s last ever show was on December 31, 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

I love the original 80’s clips at the end aligned with the recreation from the movie. I recognized a lot of these images or clips on the road from being a young fan engrossed in this new, exciting music. Like the large hot dog Tommy got a photo with, and Vince Neil talking about Nikki wanting to name the band Christmas. As I was sobbing through to the end of this, it was super uplifting to laugh at the clips and see the real guys. It was the perfect addition to show the real guys and some of their memorable moments at that time, and just how true some of these crazy stories actually are. I wish there was more talk about the Terror Twins (Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee), that wasn’t mentioned at all yet it was quite a theme in the book that Nikki and Tommy did everything together.

The Dirt is now streaming on Netflix.


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