Rock Star's tagline was "The Story of a Wannabe Who Got to Be." It's a pretty good tagline, if I must say so myself. Unfortunately, it should have been "The Wannabe Who Never Got to Be."
Yes, it's not the most original pun in the world, if it is even a pun, but Rock Star isn't exactly the most original movie around, either. It wants to delve into the world of the rock stars, which has been done before, but a lesson learned here is that if you want to do a story, you have to carry it through. The biggest problem with Rock Star is that it tries to tell a story it doesn't want to show on screen. A good deal of Rock Star's plot has to do with Chris's (Mark Wahlberg) rise to stardom and his loss of innocence. That's really not surprising since pretty much any movie that deals with music stars also deals with sex and drugs. Rock Star's story primarily deals with sex (not so much drugs) but has no sex in it. The movie wants to show the gritty life of a rock star, and show that it isn't all it is cracked up to be, but not once does the movie get remotely gritty.
Let me put it another way. I am a guy. Probably most of the people that will watch this movie are guys. The movie is rated R. The movie has Jennifer Aniston in it. The movie has a bunch of slutty groupies in it. We want to see sex. It's not that I'm shallow - which I definitely am not - but I seriously expect an R-rated movie about the rock industry to have its fair share of sex, not to mention drugs and other nefarious things. Rock Star is like a PG-13 (almost PG-rated) tease of the life of rock stars, because there are several suggestive situations, but the movie doesn't even show as much as a glimpse of two people in a precarious position. Again, I don't want to sound like a horny bastard, but Rock Star was just shocking. There is no sex in the whole movie. The steamiest and slightly mischievous scene is where Jennifer Aniston kisses another woman on a dance floor, but it really isn't sexy.
The rest of the movie is just bland. Rock Star didn't know which plot points to focus on, so it tries to cover the entire run of Chris's career in less than two hours. His rise to the top is moderately entertaining, but after that there isn't much to the movie. At one point we hit the dreaded time lapse scenes, where you get to see a year or two in the span of twenty seconds. Rock Star should have just focused on the starting point of Chris's career, because not only was that the most interesting part of the movie, but it would have also helped keep the movie intact. After the time lapse, Emily (Aniston) immediately breaks up with Chris and Chris begins contemplating his life - namely, the film turns into a chick flick, because, of course, at the end he decides to leave the band and return to the girl he loves. Let me point out that Rock Star wastes no time getting Aniston and Wahlberg back together; she doesn't even put up a fight when he asks for her back.
Rock Star never breaks the surface. We get to know and like Chris and Emily, but the movie never takes the time for us to really get to know them. Instead, we are given scene after scene of Wahlberg screaming on stage, which isn't that exciting. This movie could have been written by anyone in the world who has even the vaguest concept of the stereotypical rocker for all we know. It needed to infiltrate the world of the rock star, including the sex and the drugs, but in the end, Rock Star was just too scared to do so.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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