If only this film actually rocked as hard as it looked.
“The Rocker” is Robert “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson), the drummer for an eighties hair band. He’s living the rock n’ roll dream… until he is kicked out of the group. Twenty years later, the desperate rocker joins his nephew’s band, ADD, finally reclaiming the rock-god throne he’s always thought he deserved – while taking his much younger band-mates along for the ride of their lives.
This little old film came out back by the end of summer 08, and literally went by, and no one caught it. I have always had a soft spot for films that combine humor with rock (School of Rock, This is Spinal Tap), but this film doesn’t seem to deliver on either ends.
The one thing I did enjoy about this film is that it is a good ride. There is a lot of rockin’ music, and some decent funny moments to hold you down, so if you like movies that will at least hold your attention for a bit, this is the film.
However, it still didn’t seem like anything was right with this film. The whole film had you look at it, as if it was a rock fest, but with enough heart and humor for the whole family. Well, the humor, isn’t quite for the whole family. There are many musical references that I got, cause I love music, but others watching this, 9 times out of 10, won’t, and the humor gets a little too raunchy and dirty. I wasn’t expecting a dick joke, and so much alcohol induced in the film. I mean School of Rock wasn’t the sweetest comedy ever, but it still didn’t throw in all this un-needed sex jokes.
Also, since this film was about rockin’, and rockin’ hard, I was expecting lots, and lots of that. Instead, I only got a mediocre amount of it, and they played the same songs about 3 times each. I was looking for a new fresh song from these people, not just the 3 songs that define them. There was not really insight about rock music, as there was with School of Rock. all I got from this film, was have a good time, but nothing that made me come out of this film, saying: “Yeah, I want to start a band”.
The one thing that just almost saves this film is the cast. Rainn Wilson seems like an un-likely choice for this role, but he does a good job with it, bringing a lot more energy than I expected, and providing us with a likable character. Teddy Geiger, Josh Gad, and a young Emma Stone, all are OK as the rest of the band, ADD (really bad name), but nothing spectacular. You will also spot out funny appearances from Jane Lynch, Bradley Cooper, Will Arnett, Jeff Garlin, Aziz Ansari, and an attractive, but goofy performance from Christina Applegate. They all try their hardest, but the script lets them all down.
Consensus: The Rocker may have some fun stuff with it, as well as a good cast, but it never gets off its feat, with enough rock, and humor, to satisfy all, and just becomes a cheap rip-off of School of Rock, sorry to say.