Drumline

"OK"

Drumline Review


I've always thought of marching bandmembers as just a bunch of geeks who walk about, stroking their instruments while swapping stories from band camp. I feared Drumline would be two hours of these musician wannabes screeching out simple notes on their secondhand instruments. To my surprise, Drumline is not just another recital from band camp; however, it's no symphony either.

The film centers around Devon (Nick Cannon), a freshman recruited to attend Atlanta A&T University on a full ride scholarship to play in the school's marching band. He's an overachiever with a chip on his shoulder who thinks he knows everything about playing the drums. At tryouts, which look more like boot camp, Devon disrespects his band director Dr. Aaron Lee (Orlando Jones) by refusing to participate with the rest of the group. A power struggle soon ensues between Devon and his drumline section leader Sean (Leonard Roberts) who feels the freshman's talent threatens his position at the top of the food chain.

If that wasn't enough melodrama, Devon is eventually removed from the team for causing a fight during homecoming, which leads to problems with his dance-squad leader girlfriend Laila (Zoe Saldana). The university president is upset about Devon's removal and he pressures Dr. Lee to reinstate Devon because the school's alumni will revoke their financial support of the squad if they don't. Eventually, everyone works through their issues just in time for a marching band competition between A&T and its archrival, Morris Brown University.

First-time writer Tina Chism throws at us every standard formula possible from the Screenwriting for Dummies. Drumline spends three-quarters of its running time dealing with Devon's attitude problem and the politics of the bandmember hierarchy. Do we really care? As a result, Drumline devotes very little time showcasing the music and style of the marching band. It isn't until the last 20 minutes where we are finally treated to several full performances where their precision and artistry are allowed to shine. I was impressed, but by that time, the completely predictable plotline had drained any ounce of excitement left in the movie.

Drumline tries to be funny, but it fails. It also fails to be inspiring by preaching stale, overused expressions like, "You must learn to follow before you can lead." Bottom line, there is nothing inspirational about Drumline and the only interesting parts occur in the film's final stanza. At minimum, Drumline succeeds in dispelling some myths about marching bands, but it never really gives us any reason to care.

I'm not convinced it's possible, but if you want even more drumming, there's about 20 minutes of deleted scenes on the Drumline DVD. Or, if you want less drumming, you can turn on Charles Stone III's commentary and try to get that incessant pounding out of your head.



Drumline

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th December 2002

Box Office USA: $56.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $57.6M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: Fox 2000 Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 68 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , , Timothy M. Bourne

Starring: as Devon Miles, as Laila, as Dr. Lee, as Sean Taylor, as Jayson, Earl Poitier as Charles, as Ernest, as Diedre, Shay Roundtree as Big Rob, Miguel A. Gaetan as Trey, J. Anthony Brown as Mr. Wade, as President Wagner, Tyreese Burnett as Henry, Brandon Hirsch as Buck Wild, Angela Elayne Gibbs as Dorothy Miles

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.