The Rocker

"Terrible"

The Rocker Review


To be frank, Peter Cattaneo's The Rocker has about as much to do with rock and roll as a baby hippopotamus has to do with the Battle of Verdun.

Rainn Wilson, the talented comedian and actor made celebrity by the role of Dwight Schrute on NBC's The Office, plays Robert Fishman, Fish to his friends. Back when leopard-print stockings on men seemed like a stroke of genius, Fish is the drummer for burgeoning hair metal outfit Vesuvius. When the band is offered a contract with Matchbook Records, they find that the only catch to the deal is that the label wants the son of one of its bigwigs to take Fish's place. Fish is out.

Years and a dozen or so records later, Vesuvius has become "The Beatles of their generation" while Fish has taken to sleeping in his sister's attic. It's his nephew Matt (Josh Gad) who gives Fish the chance to play with his band, A.D.D., when they lose their drummer before a cherry gig at the prom. It's not until after a minor split and regrouping that the rest of the band, guitarist/singer Curtis (singer/songwriter Teddy Geiger) and bassist Amelia (Emma Stone), accepts Fish as their drummer. A.D.D. becomes a hit, thanks to Fish's new rep on YouTube as "The Naked Drummer," a name given for his ritual of practicing in the buff.

The screenplay was written by husband-wife team Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky, and one gets the feeling that they were simply brought in to fill in the blanks of the story dreamt up by Ryan Jaffe. Wolodorsky was a supervising producer and writer on The Simpsons in the show's early-'90s heyday while Forbes once wrote and served as a co-executive producer on The Larry Sanders Show. These are people who understand humor. But the jokes that are formed and deployed in The Rocker have no snare. Witless and limp, they seem to survive only as parasites living off the energy of the actors.

One exception comes to mind and that is Jason Sudeikis, whom you might know from Saturday Night Live and his role as Floyd on NBC's 30 Rock. Sudeikis plays David Marshall, a scout for Matchbook Records, who helps A.D.D. secure a recording gig and an opening spot for Vesuvius at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. Sudeikis knows how to form and deliver a one-liner with bite. Even with co-stars Will Arnett, Bradley Cooper, Fred Armisen, Jane Lynch (as Fish's sister), and Jeff Garlin, Sudeikis offers the only laughs to be had. When he compliments Curtis' mom (Christina Applegate) by saying, "Man, I'd like to spend nine months in there," it's a moment of pure menace in a castrated poodle of a comedy.

Will Fish overcome his hatred for Vesuvius? Will Curtis stand by him even as the drummer reportedly puts the moves on his mom? If you've made your way to the local movie theater in the last three decades, the answers present themselves. The film is directed by Peter Cattaneo, the English-born filmmaker who crafted the sleeper hit The Full Monty a decade ago. Mr. Cattaneo goes by the book: no charm, no ingenuity, and about as much comic verve as an internment camp. Emma Stone, a bracing presence in last summer's Superbad, seems to be already playing spendthrift with her cred. As for Mr. Geiger, my liver convulses at the thought of him continuing to perform his mindless brand of cheese-pop, but his gross inability as an actor looms as a greater threat.

Certainly nothing this year will compete with the inexcusable The Love Guru for its sheer inability to create laughs, but The Rocker does its best to at least come close.

He won't, he won't, rock you. Rock you.



The Rocker

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 20th August 2008

Box Office USA: $6.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $8.8M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: Fox Atomic

Production compaines: Fox Atomic

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 51 Rotten: 72

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Robert 'Fish' Fishman, as Matt Gadman, as Kim, as Amelia, as Curtis, as Stan, as Lisa, as David Marshall, as Lex, as Gator, as Kerr, as Trash, Lonny Ross as Sticks, Jon Glaser as Billy, as Carol, as Violet, as Kip, as Aziz, Ellie Knaus as Erica, Laura DeCarteret as Amelia's Mom, as Amelia's Dad

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

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.