Film review: The Rocker

2008-08-25 00:00

Rock 'n roll is dead. But you knew that from reading the stars at the bottom of the article first. No one understands it anymore. If anyone did, they wouldn't make movies like this. Boneheads. Two teenagers walked out after 20 minutes, leaving the two of us to fend for ourselves against the dragging tempo and off-key jokes. The Rocker. Yeah, right. The only thing it'll rock is you and your waning attention span to sleep.

Cool music, though. It casually conveys how heavy rock drummers from the '80s, when they don't keep with the trends, can simply plonk themselves into a modern pop rock band. Which is exactly what happens: in 1986, Robert ÒFishÓ Fishman (Rainn Wilson) gets the boot from rock band Vesuvius, when his band-mates ditch him to clinch a record deal (because he's not photogenic enough). Fish lives with a grudge for 20 years, until his nephew Matt (Josh Gad) invites him to join his band.

Wilson is pretty passionate in the role. He's also very sweaty.

At least they cast a true singer in Teddy Geiger. But Fish never becomes someone to truly root for. His character is simply a wannabe version of Jack Black's School of Rock character, except Black blazed the trail. So essentially there's a whole lot of formula following.

Count in: tick, tick, tick, tick... doof, plonk, doof, plonk, drag... drag... drag... cool song... drag... lame joke... drag... and repeat cycle.

For those who don't slumber their way through this, there's a message of hope and never giving up on a dream. I liked that. I also liked the music. But calling the film The Rocker is misleading. The Rocker sounds exciting. It should have been called something long and boring. At least then you know what you're in for. **

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