The Rocker Peter Cattaneo

The Rocker Peter Cattaneo
The Rocker is like a rock album that has a few kick-ass songs but doesn't add up to a satisfying whole. Rainn Wilson (The Office, Oliver in Six Feet Under) plays Fish, a rocker who was booted out of a hair metal band in the mid-'80s only to land a second chance at stardom 20 years later in his nephew's high school act, A.D.D. Problem is, Fish is stuck in rock'n'roll adolescence (i.e., tossing TVs out of hotel windows) and carries a huge chip on his shoulder against his former band-mates in Vesuvius. He resolves both issues when A.D.D. are booked to open for Vesuvius at their Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame induction. If the story sounds contrived, it is, though there are enough good laughs in this comedy to sustain your attention from start to finish. Problem is the filmmakers aim too low. They go for cheap, physical gags, often at the expense of Fish, whose stupid antics make it hard to cheer for him. Director Cattaneo (The Full Monty) and his collaborators should've rounded out his character to give him more depth and genuine laughs. Wilson is a great comedic character actor but he's inconsistent here. It doesn't help that his band-mates are flat and lifeless (Teddy Geiger, Josh Gad and Emma Stone). Only Christina Applegate as Geiger's hot, single mum and Jason Sudeikis as A.D.D.'s sleazy manager light up the screen in their supporting roles. Again, the film had to be dumbed down to satisfy the studio suits, as Cattaneo and Wilson allude to in one of the two audio commentaries. Their commentary provides details about shooting in Toronto (standing in for Cleveland) on a painfully low budget. The other commentary by several actors is pure fun, sometimes more energetic than the film itself. Both commentaries make up for the lack of other extras. (Fox)