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The Rocker (DVD)
Member Name: adambrown400
The Rocker (DVD)
Advantages: Good soundtrack, Rainn Wilson
Disadvantages: some jokes don't quite work
Robert 'Fish' Fishman was once the drummer for up and coming metal band 'Vesuvius', n the eve of them hitting the big time their manager orders them to lose Fish. Fish is promptly fired from the band and spends the next twenty years in dead end jobs while Vesuvius hit the jackpot and become one of the biggest bands in the world.
After being fired from his latest job, Fish ends up in his sister's house and lives in the attic. After hearing his nephew's band playing in the garage, he's asked to stand in for their recently expelled drummer at the upcoming prom. After a disastrous performance, they persist with Fish and after a video of him drumming naked during a practice on youtube they sign a record contract. The band travels the country playing to bigger and bigger audiences eventually supporting Vesuvius. Will Fish make amends with the band, or will it end in disaster?
Its actually a strange mix of Will Ferrell type comedy with that of High School Musical, this doesn't actually harm the film at all giving it added warmth and empathy. The young actors that make up the rest of the band do very well and whilst not setting the screen alight with their acting ability, do have their own stories to tell - and not just a reaction from Wilson's antics.
In some respects I suppose it's a bit similar in tone to 'School of Rock'. Its got the same disaffected older guy with a rock god persona with a massive ego who thinks they could have made it. Here though, Wilson is little more restrained than the over-the-top Jack Black.
Rainn Wilson has impressed me for a long time, ever since playing the geeky alien in 'Galaxy Quest', but more recently as Dwight Shrute in the American version of the Office. In fact, the only reason I put this film on my rental list was to see if he could carry a film on his own. He does, by the way - very well indeed. Wilson has all the comic ability of a Steve Carell, a Will Ferrell or a Ben Stiller. That said, you could easily see any of those aforementioned actors playing this part - but Wilson does manage to make it his own.
The teenage group aren't too bad either. The gothy lead singer and songwriter Teddy Geiger is moody and broody. Fish's nephew Josh Gad is a Seth Rogen wannabe through and through and while not getting many decent one-liners isn't too annoying. Best of the bunch is Emma Stone who plays the bands bass guitarist.
The songs that were written especially for the film are good, without being too schmaltzy. The scenes in particular that surround the 80's incarnation of 'Vesuvius' are very accurate and neatly blend Motley Crue and Poison together to make this fictional band that Wilson was an ex-member of. The payoff at the end is not what you might expect as well, but equally satisfying.
I was quite surprised that The Rocker faired poorly at the box office. It was a decent film and deserved to be seen. I enjoyed The Rocker, mainly down to Wilson's portrayal of the old metal-head, but theres lots more to enjoy here. Recommended.
Summary: A decent film