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Lou Diamond Phillips,
Chris Cole was born to rock. His longtime girlfriend Emily believes his talent could take him all the way - but Chris worships at the altar of Bobby Beers, the fiery frontman for heavy metal legends Steel Dragon. By day, Chris still lives at home with his parents and spends his days repairing copy machines. But when Chris takes the stage, fronting Pennsylvania's premiere Steel Dragon tribute band, all of that disappears. Chris Cole is Bobby Beers - mesmerizing audiences with his perfect imitation of Beers' electrifying vocals. The night his bandmates boot him out of the group, Chris is devastated - until an unexpected phone call changes his life forever: He, Chris Cole, has been tapped to replace Bobby Beers as the lead singer of Steel Dragon. In an instant, Chris rockets to the dizzying heights of sudden stardom, rising from devotee to icon, from rock fan to rock god - the wanna-be who got to be. So what happens when an average guy gets everything he wants - and discovers it's not ... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Where have all the rock stars gone? The bubble gum pop bands with their virginal image and the hip hopping wannabe baddies bore me. Where's the flash and excess of groups like Led Zeppelin, or the old Motley Crue? These were the hard rocking, and even harder partying bands who brought the sex and drugs to rock n' roll. Whether trashing hotel rooms, engaging in debauchery that would make Caligula blush, or caught up in a deluge of chemicals and booze, there were no half measures. Women wanted them and men wanted to be them. Sometimes, life is good.
Life as a photocopier repairperson is less than riveting. For Chris Cole the only way to cope with the daily tedium of toner and paper jams is in his alternate guise as the lead singer in a "Steel Dragon" tribute band. Chris acts, dresses and sounds like his idol, hoping beyond all reason that one day he will join his idols. Lucky for him, rock and roll is a fickle business.
As anyone who follows heavy metal (or reads previews) knows, "Rock Star" is loosely based on the true story of salesman-turned-heavy-metal-frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens, who was tapped to fill in as lead singer for Judas Priest when Rob Halford left the band. However, the similarities end there - when Judas Priest pressed for increased creative control over the project, the producers opted to distance themselves from the band and change the story and the exploits of "Steel Dragon" are a composite of several apocryphal rock legends.
With strong performances in such films as "Three Kings" and "The Perfect Storm" Mark Wahlberg has proven that he is more than a living underwear mannequin. Wahlberg brings the same combination of innocence and wide-eyed wonderment to Chris that he displayed in "Boogie Nights" (without displaying much else). These qualities keep Chris' transformation from nobody to rock god from becoming a ridiculous parody. Keeping him grounded is Jennifer Aniston as his girlfriend/manager, the one person who realizes his talents and for once Aniston breaks free of Rachel, and delivers a decent performance. The supporting cast, drawn from real rockers and solid character actors, gel well onscreen. Overall, the story is well paced, light-hearted, the soundtrack is great (I felt my head moving back and forth more than once) and you actually buy the group as a real band. Definitely worth the price of admission, and remember not to leave before the outtakes are finished.
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