The Rocker | Chicago Reader

The Rocker

Twenty years after being sacked from a hair-metal band on the eve of its big break, a bitter gonzo drummer (Rainn Wilson) joins his nephew's high school garage band and gets a second chance at stardom. The basic joke is reverse-generational (the kids are cautious and responsible, the grown-up obnoxious and out of control), and Wilson, best known for the NBC sitcom The Office, runs with it; the demented gleam in his eye has seldom been put to better use. The unknown band's rise to fame is absurdly easy (its first tour begins on a luxurious coach and ends with a stadium show), and the conflicts that arise are highly predictable. But there are plenty of funny moments, as well as a sweet subplot involving the unkempt drummer and the guitarist's no-nonsense mom (Christina Applegate). Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) directed. R, 102 min.

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