Disco, disco duck...Oh, it's not as bad as all that. Actually, 54 is a decent flick, and you really don't even have to be big on 70's nostalgia or disco music to enjoy it. But don't let the previews mislead you: it's more about Mike Myers' and Ryan Phillipe's character's job there (and ultimately about the demise of the club) than about Phillipe and Neve Campbell. But that doesn't take away from the film. In fact, it's on the basis of Myers' performance that I'd recommend this movie.
Myers plays Steve Rubell, one of the owners of the famous Studio 54 nightclub in New York. Rubell has a tendency to have sex with his male employees and wallow in drugs. He's also on the take, skimming money so he won't have to report as much to the IRS (that's where the club's demise comes in). Myers plays him with the limp-eyed look of a user, at times hopped up on goofballs and giddy as a schoolgirl, other times merely drunk and stoned and trying to come on to bartenders. It's a great performance, a long way from the smirkiness (although it is still there) of a Wayne Campbell or an Austin Powers.
Phillipe is supposedly the center of the story, the young Jersey kid who makes it to Studio 54 in hopes of hitting it big. Problem is, Phillipe sucks. It's a lifeless performance, lacking any real energy or depth. Phillipe mumbles and stumbles through in a monotone. He's obsessed with Neve Campbell, a Jersey girl who made good on a soap opera. When they finally do hook up (sort of: it seems more platonic with occasional displays of affection, rather than a relationship), we never quite buy into it. Campbell's fine, although you wish there was more to her part.
Breckin Meyer (the skateboarder from Clueless) and Salma Hayek aren't bad, either, as a married couple working at the club, with him aspiring to be a bartender and her aspiring to be the next disco diva.
But again, it's Myers' movie, and he gives a standout performance.The music will grow on you, too.