Movie Mind Says: Wait for Cable
If You Like This You Should Watch: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Almost Famous
Better Than: Hmmmm…
Worse Than: School of Rock, The Rock Star
Starring: Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Josh Gad
Oh Rainn Rainn Rainn. What have you done? If someone believed that it might seem like a funny idea to make a 30-minute episode of The Office, which you all know I love, about Dwight trying to reignite his rock-star drummer past, I might have thought it was an entertaining episode. For someone to try and parlay that into a 90-minute running joke, well, they just need to have their head examined. This was one of the most dull, boring, predictable, lame, unoriginal, poor-excuse-for-a-comedy flicks I’ve seen in a long time. And with the amount of movies I watch, that really is saying something.
For some reason, whenever a movie “loses” me, and it starts to get bad really quick, I begin to focus on as much subpar minutiae that I can find within the film. It doesn’t make me a film snob to point out poor editing and blatant continuity problems, it just gives credence to my gut instincts. I am more than willing to overlook much of that same cinematic fault if a movie entertains me. When it doesn’t, I become a more spiteful version of Ebert or Rope-head than they could ever dream of being. I can make their reviews of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective look so pleasant it’s like they were written by Jim Carrey’s mommy. Unfortunately for Mr. Rainn Wilson, I was left no other choice after being zombiefied by The Rocker.
Wilson plays Fish, an aged former drummer who just missed out on his chance at U2 or Beatles-level stardom. Now it’s 20-years later and he is nothing more than a loser, trying to bury the bad sting of his past. In a completely bizarre twist of fate, his nephew’s band loses its drummer the night before their big break playing the prom and Fish becomes the only solution. After bombing that performance (which was less of a bomb and more of just an unrequested drum solo) Fish and the high school band reunite via the web where while playing in the buff, “The Naked Drummer” is born. The remaining hijinx take place on the road with an eventual head-on with Fish’s former band buddies.
I could spend another full page or two listing off the issues with the film (aside from the shear lack of entertainment value, of course), but allow me to paraphrase. It starts with the acting, from lead to bit players, which was on par with your local improv troupe…and not even the mildly talented one. Josh Gad is horrific, Emma Stone is a statue, and poor Christina Applegate had a part that Meryl Streep couldn’t have made interesting. Aside from that, there are key plotlines that are simply cut off and left short, such as the whole “Naked Drummer” bit, which goes from the reason they get some fame to absolutely nothing in 10 minutes flat. Add in the fact that nobody in their right mind could actually see why this band was even remotely better than your typical high school garage band, and I have a few problems buying in.
I wish I had some better news to deliver, but I call it how I see it. And it saddens me that I did actually even see this. Don’t waste your time, money, gas in your car going to Blockbuster, or effort checking off the box on NetFlix. If you took School of Rock, Almost Famous, The Rock Star and Walk Hard and rolled them up to form a whole pig, The Rocker would qualify as the leftover scraps and sh*t used to make the hot dogs. Enjoy.
Interesting Cameo Appearance: Bradley Cooper (aka Zack, the obnoxious yet hilarious boyfriend in Wedding Crashers…”Crabcakes and football, that’s what Maryland does!”) as Trash, the former Vesuvious band-mate turned enemy of Fish.
Robert ‘Fish’ Fishman: It’s not “stealing” if you’re family. But, seriously, don’t tell your mom.
Robert ‘Fish’ Fishman: A lot of elevators play Celine Dion – that doesn’t make it right.
Matt Gadman: Are you kidding me? Look at him, it’s like Abercrombie is making people now.