The Atlantic

The Dirt Celebrates the Soullessness of Mötley Crüe

Netflix’s shiny biopic of the hair-metal band barely tries to understand the destruction it portrays.
Source: Netflix

Mötley Crüe is canceled! The latest harrowing #MeToo-era music film highlights the ’80s metal touchstone’s conduct, which was hardly hidden from the public but can now be seen for the abuse it was all along. The lead singer, Vince Neil, killed a man while driving drunk. The drummer, Tommy Lee, is shown punching his first fiancée in the face. Band members harassed innocent bystanders and destroyed their property while habitually treating women like dishrags. Time’s up on the glorification of all that.

Or not. , a 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 isstyle mythologizing of their stumble from dive-bar brawls to hydraulics-enabled arenas. That journey generated very little enduring music but did help set a visual template of male excess, a fact that the band members now seem too thick to even appreciate. Aluminum-siding riffs and hernia-evoking growls don’t rule today’s charts, but the star rapper Travis Scott has been at least copying Tommy Lee’s onstage carnival equipment—a fact Lee has been raging in caps-lock on Instagram.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min read
Refusing To Wear A Mask Is An Empty Act Of Defiance
Those who reject facial coverings during the pandemic do so amid broad consensus about what public safety demands.
The Atlantic3 min read
The Atlantic Daily: Elon Musk Comes Within 20 Minutes of History
Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox. “That was one hell of a dress rehearsal.” That’
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Trump Is a Problem That Twitter Cannot Fix
When a duly elected president is bent on spreading misinformation, tech companies can rein him in only so much.