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Sean Cw Johnson,
The Rocker tells the story of a failed drummer who is given a second chance at fame. Robert "Fish" Fishman is the extremely dedicated and astoundingly passionate drummer for the eighties hair band Vesuvius, who is living the rock n' roll dream until he is unceremoniously kicked out of the band. Twenty years after his rock star fantasies are destroyed, just when Fish has finally given up all hope, he hears that his nephew's high school rock band A.D.D. is looking for a new drummer. They reluctantly make him the newest member of the band, giving him a chance to reclaim the rock God throne he's always thought he deserved, and taking the young band along for the ride of their lives. Written by
As a metal/rock musician with a desk job myself, I could really appreciate this simple inspirational story as well as the many laughs it dished out. One line plot summary: Washed up former drummer turned office drone joins nephew's band, gets his mojo back and gets the chance to show the former band, an obvious AC/DC parody/homage, who betrayed him, that he can make it to the top without them. OK so that was a bit of a run-on sentence but anyhoo, with a great setup like that, plus choice casting of Rainn Wilson in the lead, the comedy pretty much writes itself. The story reminds me a little bit of the Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) / Metallica rivalry/hatred what with Mustaine kicked out of the band for his wild antics only to make it on his own without ever selling out. There are several cameos from familiar faces, the casting is perfect. The younger kids in the band are believable characters, not totally reckless and sensationalized like The OC but not given the wuss WWJD treatment of other TV fair like 7th Heaven. There is some underage drinking and pot references, but nobody becomes an alcoholic or a drug addict, just kids experiencing the time of their lives and living their dream as rock stars. The movie never takes itself too seriously but it has plenty of heart and is more than just a vehicle for Wilson's brilliant penchant for playing strangely aloof, yet obsessive characters. One of the comic bits I really liked was where The Rocker is humoring the singer of his Nephew's band, telling him how sweet his mopey, whiny ass lyrics are in this sort of underhandedly sarcastic tone. The movie is not afraid to poke fun at the frivolousness of modern youth's current popular music. That's not to say the songs are no good, but they are definitely a tad emo and gay for this rocker's taste, and I think Rain Wilson's character secretly agrees, but is too excited at the chance to play again to voice his opinion. On the whole, I felt it delivered more laughs than School of Rock with Wilson giving an equally energetic performance to that of Jack Black in said flick. I would recommend one if you like the other for sure. If I have one complaint about this movie it's this oddly treated subplot of the chick in the band getting knocked up, presumably by the singer. It is sort of brought up and never really dealt with or resolved. Not that I care about whether or not they had a baby or whatever, just saying why put drama in a movie just for drama's sake and then not take it anywhere? Should have just left that out it was kinda irking me I think they threw that in there because they realized hey the movie's halfway over and nothing remotely serious has happened. The first ten minutes or so of this movie are yispecially hilarious, excellent opening. I would easily rank the chase scene in the top ten funniest movie moments of 2008. "Dude...he can't be killed...He can't be killed dude! Drive! Drive!"
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