Movie Review: “The Rocker”
Josh Gad, Teddy Geiger, Emma Stone and Rainn Wilson in “The Rocker.”
“The Rocker” is an amiable music-business satire that rises and falls entirely on the appeal of Rainn Wilson, clocking out of “The Office” long enough to pound the skins as a past-his-prime drummer who finds an unlikely second shot at the spotlight.
Robert “Fish” Fishman (Wilson) nearly found fame in the late ‘80s, when he was the drummer for the pop-metal band Vesuvius, but got kicked out just as the group was ready for its close-up. He spent the next two decades working customer-service jobs while his old bandmates became Bon Jovi-level superstars.
A run-in with a co-worker causes Fish to lose his latest job, and he winds up living in his sister’s attic, where he overhears that the band his socially inept nephew Matt (Josh Gad) plays keyboards in needs a drummer. Fish quickly regains his taste for rocking, but his hair-metal flamboyance hardly meshes with the moody, “emo” sensibilities of Matt’s bandmates, Curtis (singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger) and Amelia (Emma Stone).
“The Rocker” fits dead-center in director Peter Cattaneo’s wheelhouse: the film’s theme of finding vindication through performance is not far removed from “The Full Monty” or “Lucky Break.” But unlike “Monty,” “The Rocker” is mostly a one-man show, hinging entirely on Wilson’s capacity for over-the-top dork moves and Will Ferrell-style nude gross-out humor.
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