Does every new comedian working today have to enter the cinematic field through the grueling mediocrity of the manchild movie with their interminable slapstick, rise-fall-rise again patterns? It's so old now that even when there is funny material to be had, it loses it’s luster by the sheer gall of having to sit through the same damn thing again. Remember that Will Ferrell plot machine website
? When we all knew these movies had jumped the shark? That came out, like, two years ago. No one must have told Rainn Wilson
. He’s shamelessly milking a dry teat with every bit of ‘What, you must have forgotten about School of Rock by now’
that he can with "The Rocker"
is Robert “Fish” Fishman
, a drummer that used to play for the 80’s heavy metal band Vesuvius
. On the verge of stardom, he was fired from the band because the head of the label they were signing to wanted his nephew to play with them instead. 20 years later, Vesuvius
huge, and Fish
hasn’t played drums since. When he gets fired from his job, he goes to live with his sister (Jane Lynch
) and her family. Unwilling to grow up, he lives in their attic for a little while until his nephew Matt
) and his band mates, Curtis
) and Amelia
) need a last minute fill-in drummer so they can play the prom at their high school. This, as you undoubtedly predict, does not go well. Still, Fish is an annoying manchild character who solves all problems by refusing to acknowledge anyone else's negative reactions to his behavior and eventually he talks the kids into giving him another chance. They practice over the internet using webcams, a technology the elder luddite Fish
doesn't really understand and it leads to a video of him playing the drums naked with them being leaked to YouTube
. Oh, the hilarity. Almost instantly, they’re on their way to becoming superstars, which is what happens the moment you put something on the internet that is funny. I should know. (Leave me alone, groupies, no time for oral sex now, your master is writing a movie review). Of course, even success isn’t easy and Rainn
’s ‘rock star’
antics, upset the kids parents. That and a scheming record company exec right out of "Wayne's World"
(but not in a good way) drives the film to...exactly the places you’d expect.
I suppose this idea could have had some merit to it, if they had played it a bit more straight, a bit less stupid. Apparently, it was even based loosely on a real story that happened to the head writer combined with the tale of poor Pete Best
from The Beatles
who even has a small cameo in the film. With a sympathetic and likable take on "Fish" Wilson
might have made it work and created a fun and original take on this sort of story. Instead, we get this same-old, same-old, and not even close to as funny as the movies it's ripping off. I thinkRainn Wilson
is a very
talented comedy actor and could certainly headline a comedy film but he’s not Will Ferrell
and no one should try to cram Will Ferrell
's rejected story lines down Wilson’s career. One Will Ferrell
is MORE than enough at this point.
I wish I could tell you how the extras were, but here's the thing: Fox doesn't like internet critics. Doesn't now, never has. There are a number of ways they've made this clear to us, but my least favorite has to be the 'white coaster'
disks they send us to review their movies. Most critics, hell, almost all of them, make next to no if no money at all for reviewing films. Fox still doesn't want them to have the final product, I guess because they don't want them reselling them or something, so they send out these no frills, pop-up logo-ing, single disk, encoded with copy protection to the point that they only work half the time, copies of their movies. I was honestly shocked when my DVD player agreed to play "The Rocker"
. Needless to say, if there were any extras that ship with the movie, they weren't on my version.
Click Here to Buy The Rocker - Born To Rock Special Edition [Digital Copy]