Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Film Review: THE ROCKER (2008)

Director: Peter Cattaneo
Running time: 102 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12A

Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 16th December 2009.


A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I was in a rock band, yes, this forty-something was a drummer in a band. Unfortunately The Antibodies didn’t really get anywhere, but it’s an experience I wouldn’t swap for the world. This is why I found myself drawn to this film, thinking, I really hope it’s better than ‘School of Rock’. And guess what, it is! More of that later…

Robert ‘Fish’ Fishman is the drummer with ‘80’s up-and-coming band ‘Vesuvius’ who are on the verge of signing a major record deal. Unfortunately for Fish, part of the deal is that he is replaced. We now fast-forward twenty years to the present day where Vesuvius are major stars and Robert is in s dead-end job that he has just lost. He goes to live with his sister whose son. Matt, is in a band along with Curtis and Amelia. They are called A.D.D. and are playing at the prom but are short of a drummer. Robert is persuaded to play and he really enjoys it. He develops a friendship with the guitarist and song writer Curtis and tries to get them a gig. He succeeds and they steal his sister’s car to go but are arrested and returned home. Finding themselves grounded, Matt finds a way to connect them via the internet so they can practice. Fish just happens to be drumming naked and Matt’s sister records the footage and puts it in the net. After about a million hits on the site a record company becomes interested and the band is booked into a studio. I won’t say any more about the plot, don’t want to give away too many spoilers!

Quite a well made film, but typical of the modern comedy in that most of the funny bits aren’t so funny (to me). Decent performances from Rainn Wilson as Robert ‘Fish’ Fishman, Christina Applegate as Kim (Curtis’s mum), Teddy Geiger as Curtis, Josh Gad as Matt Gadd, Emma Stone as Amelia and Jeff Garlin as Stan.

I guess there were two things that made this film stand out for me. One was the fact that there was actually a coherent storyline, too often the story gets lost amongst all the one-liners and stunts. The second was a really good soundtrack, most of the songs were original and most excellent, to pinch a line from the infamous ‘Bill & Ted’. Over all a pretty enjoyable film with a decent story and about two funny bits, but most of all a really good soundtrack!

My score: 6.9/10

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