I just went and watched the new movie “The Rocker” starring Rainn Wilson of “The Office” fame. A lot of people have been saying the movie is a “School Of Rock” ripoff and even though there are similarities, “The Rocker” has more adult laughs. So being a rocker myself and a fan of Rainn Wilson I was really excited to see the movie.
The story is drawn from the classic moment when The Beatles fired Pete Best at the urging of producer George Martin just before The Beatles became huge. In fact, there’s a really funny cameo by ex-Beatle Pete Best in the movie. Just so you know where to look, Pete’s cameo takes place at a bus stop. Anyway, Rainn Wilsons Character, Fish, is fired from his band ‘Vesuvius’ just as they sign a record contract and become huge. For 20 years Fish holds a grudge and wonders what could have been if he hadn’t been fired. Fish finally gets his second chance when his nephew asks him to fill in for their expelled drummer at the high school Prom. The band decides to add Fish to the lineup and they hold an online practice. Fish does the practice in the nude, (it ain’t pretty) and his niece posts the video on YouTube. The video becomes viral and the band becomes world famous from the ‘Nude Drummer’ video. From there Fish gets his second chance at rock-n-roll stardom and gets to live a life of excess that almost does him in. The movie culminates in a final showdown with Fish’s ex-band, Vesuvius.
The movie is filled with musician related humor. There’s the hilarious auditions for a new drummer which I’m sure many bands out there have gone through. My bandmates in Shufflin’ Noah should remember well our drummer search that resulted in us hooking up with drummer Frank Lee. The toll that playing night after night on the road takes on Fish’s aging body is starting to look all too familiar as well. Going from rocking with the band to working a day job has the harsh ring of reality for all us musicians as well.
The music in The Rocker is good rock-pop music that suits the story although it’s not as inspired as the music in Spinal Tap. Watching Rainn Wilson ham it up on the drums is really funny though. The Rocker borrows liberally from This Is Spinal Tap and School Of Rock but it still holds its own and is a must see for musicians. If you go with your band, you’ll be rolling in the aisles laughing at some of the all-too-familiar situations the band find itself in. So go see, The Rocker!