Saturday, October 4, 2008

Review - The Rocker

Failed drummer Robert Fishman gets a second chance at making it big when his nephew needs a replacement drummer in his high school band. Fishman who was twenty years ago, apart of the now famous hair band Vesuvius, but was kicked out and has never gotten over it. Becoming the new drummer in his nephew's band A.D.D. gives new life to the 40 something has-been and he gives the band a boost they never expected.

Rainn Wilson stars in The Rocker in what seems like an NBC alumni film having cast members from "The Office," "30 Rock" and "SNL" together in one film. Directed by Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) The Rocker like most SNL style films was a big disappointment. The story itself was okay, but being pegged as a comedy, it felt very hard pressed for laughs. Honestly, I think I laughed twice throughout all 102 minutes.

Rainn Wilson plays Robert Fishman or as he prefers to be called, Fish. His character begins as a typical 80's big hair band drummer and he tries to hold on to the personna throughout the whole film. Fish tries to teach his nephew and the rest of the band how to rock and let loose, in typical 80's fashion, but the schtick falls flat too many times throughout and never really conjures up any laughs. Fish's wardrobe or lack there of, is probably the only part of his character that is even remotely funny.

The Rocker rolls along at a decent pace, but is very typical of most comedies with a overly predictable storyline. The film itself while it has a beginning, middle and end really feels to go nowhere and ultimately leaves the viewer wanting something far better. Just like Rainn Wilson's character who is stuck in the past, the film really pushes hard on his child-like character, which again isn't very funny. The film could have been far funnier if it focused more on Fish's old band Vesuvius and the ridiculousness of the 80's hair bands. Instead seeing him ousted lost it thunder quickly leaving the viewer waiting to see anything funny, from an actor we know has it in him.

Overall, The Rocker was a big disappointment. The music A.D.D. plays throughout is pretty terrible and hard to believe that it would propel the band to stardom. The cast itself is strong, but they are given so little to do, most go unnoticed. Wilson has a few moments throughout, but from one of the best actors of NBC's "The Office" I expected a much funnier film.