Published Aug 14, 2008Like its central character, Robert "Fish Fishman, The Rocker has its heart in a good place but just doesnt have the intelligence to be more than loveably adequate. The easiest comparisons to bandy at Full Monty director Peter Cattaneos take on a rock comedy are School of Rock and Rock Star.
Rainn Wilson of The Office stars as Fish, te drummer of schlock rock gods on the cusp of fame Vesuvious, whos ousted from his throne as a condition of their record contract. An entirely unnecessary parody of the chase scene from Terminator 2 ensues with the members of Vesuvious fleeing from the enraged drummer. Fishs backstabbing band members are well cast but poorly used, with Fred Armisen and an un-credited Will Arnett standing out as prototypical cheese-ball rock posers, but lack any dialogue with bite thanks to the flaccid screenwriting.
Vesuvious make it huge and 20 years later, a very bitter, office working Fishman ends up moving in with his sister and nephew Matt, who happens to be in a band called A.D.D. thats having drummer issues for their gig at the prom.
Fish is recruited and they pull off the show even though Fish freaks out from the excitement of being on stage again, pissing off bandleader Curtis. Fishs sloppy, Will Ferrell-esque antics get the kids grounded but leads to the bands big break when they get a viral smash on Youtube with their "Naked Drummer video, which is just Fish in the buff during band practice, as he mistakes a web cam for a mic.
The chuckle ratio spikes a bit with the introduction of the bands manager and his outrageous MILF lines to Curtiss mother, played by an affable Christina Applegate. Bland pop tunes, predictable attempts at music icon parody and loudmouth jackass slapstick are about all The Rocker has to offer, aside from some decent, snide one-liners from Emma Stone.
Rainn Wilson is a funny guy but this isnt a funny movie, and despite whatever goodwill he can muster, laughter is currency in comedy and The Rocker comes up short. (Fox)