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Rock Star

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Rock Star

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston
Director: Stephen Herek
Rated: R
RunTime: 107 Minutes
Release Date: September 2001
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music

*Also starring: Jason Flemyng, Jason Bonham, Nick Catanese, Blas Elias, Jeff Pilson, Brian Vander Ark, Zakk Wylde, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Bonham

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
3.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review movie reviewmovie review
4.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Chris Cole has a dream. The lead singer of a tribute band, he wants to recreate the music, the look and clothes of his idol, Bobby Beers (Jason Flemyng) of STEEL DRAGON, as accurately as possible. In his ultimate fantasy, of course, the band he mimics would actually hire him to be their lead singer.

Welcome to Hollywood, where anything can happen. One day, STEEL DRAGON fires Bobby, who is notorious for his bad attitude. For his replacement they choose the completely unknown Chris, who adopts a British accent and a stage name of Izzy.

The problem with ROCK STAR, directed by Stephen Herek (101 DALMATIANS and THE MIGHTY DUCKS), can be summed up in two words, Mark Wahlberg. As Izzy, the entire movie rests on Wahlberg's shoulders, and he can't carry it. Last seen as the star of the remake of PLANET OF THE APES, he has an incredibly limited emotional range. Jennifer Aniston as Emily, his girlfriend and first manager, isn't much more effective.

The script by TV writer John Stockwell starts and ends well enough but contains a vast wasteland in-between. Director Herek's experience directing a bunch of pooches running around or kids skating around doesn't help him fashion a meaningful or exciting film about the world of heavy metal rock legends. The musical concerts are all done by the numbers. One scene, any scene, from ALMOST FAMOUS has more life than all of ROCK STAR.

"I'm just a regular guy who grew up with the posters of these guys on my wall," Izzy likes to remind his cheering crowds. "Now, I'm one of them." I wish ROCK STAR had given us reason to care. Although it is so bland that it's sometimes hard to tell, the movie wants to be a cautionary tale about the cumulative effect of nightly bouts of promiscuous sex with groupies and lots of drugs. The sex, however, is only discussed, and the drugs themselves are mainly AWOL, thus muting any message. Instead we get suggestive dances, and people who wake up in the wrong bed after an unseen night of bad behavior.

"You know, he's a rock star now," the wife of one of the band members tells Emily about Izzy. "Normal rules don't apply." Guess, what? He starts out innocent but quickly becomes corrupted. Any guesses as to what happens to him next?

ROCK STAR runs 1:47. It is rated R for "language, sexuality and some drug content," and would be acceptable for most teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, liked the music but thought the movie itself was just okay. He gave it ** 1/2.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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