To bring back the glory of blood-pumping, head-banging, good old rock n” roll, director Stephen Herek brings us “Rock Star,” the story of a young man who soon becomes the lead singer of the band he idolizes.
Although one must tolerate some cheesy and overdone aspects, the story itself is still worthwhile. It just doesn”t have the substance that would make it outstanding.
Perhaps it follows too closely the pattern that other films have chosen: With the main character having a somewhat flawed dream, he soon learns valuable lessons that lead him to a far deeper realization. This brings to mind Cameron Crowe”s “Almost Famous.” “Rock Star” however, is forgettable, although it maintains a passive interest throughout its duration.
Chris Coles (Mark Wahlberg) has everything but one thing fame. Although his tribute band “Blood Pollution” has its own crowd, he is known only for his imitation of Bobby Beers (Jason Flemying), the lead singer of the top heavy metal band “Steel Dragon.” Chris” dream is to become a rock star, but his desires are perhaps mixed up, as his brother points out, “You only fantasize about being someone else.”
Chris remains ignorant however, and it is his pure innocence and adoration that lead him into inevitable conflict.
When Steel Dragon loses Beers, Chris can hardly believe he is called in to audition. Steel Dragon realizes that his perfect imitation of Beers and incredible voice is all they need. Chris, nicknamed “Izzy,” soon finds himself on the road, now touring with the band and living out his dream.
His girlfriend Emily (Jennifer Aniston) accompanies him and shares in his excitement, but soon finds that his experience is “not her life,” so she moves out to Seattle to start a business with a long-time friend.
Aniston delivers a wonderful performance and perhaps the best scene of the film is when she makes their preplanned visit to his hotel in Seattle during his tour, only to find him completely stoned and disoriented, standing in the hallway with an endless line of women waiting for “their turn” with the star. After she walks out, Izzy starts to realize what he”s losing and his perspective changes.
In addition to Aniston, Timothy Spall, who plays Mats, Steel Dragon”s tour agent, stands out incredibly.
In a conversation with Izzy, the alternative, pot-smoking agent shares that he was once indeed married, of all things, but one day,while staring at the wall in the bathroom while pissing, he decided to just leave and never return. The British actor is believable and he grasps the necessary depths that make his character intriguing.
“Rock Star” picks up little speed until its very end. The story is too predictable and some parts should have been eliminated. For example, after Chris auditions for Steel Dragon, Bobby bursts into the room, fuming over the fact that no one can truly replace him besides the fact that he”s gay, Bobby rips off a wig (revealing that he has AIDS), asking Chris “You really thought that I was singing about my girlfriend the whole time?” This scene may simply aim to show Chris” naivety, yet it comes off as irrelevant and absurd.
Despite silly plot additions such as this, “Rock Star” still has a feel-good quality that somehow sustains itself. The soundtrack also sets the mood, featuring Bon Jovi and INXS, among other famous rock stars.
Although Chris encounters a problem being the new lead singer of Steel Dragon they won”t consider the music he wrote himself things are of course resolved at the end of the film, so it is satisfying in that sense. This film won”t shine in the spotlight, however it lacks the originality.