Rock Star

Rock Star


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Everything about this rings true. Do you really want to know?

Heavy metal rock legends trash hotels, abuse groupies, overdose on hallucinogens, drink like fish and behave badly on stage. It is expected of them. "Your job is to live the fantasy other people only dream of," Izzy is told. He listens and learns.

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Izzy is Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg). By day, he's an office worker. By night, he's the leader of a tribute band in Pennsylvania. He lives at home with mom and pop and a brother in the police force who takes the piss out of him. His girlfriend, Emily (Jennifer Aniston), remains supportive, even when his own band members throw him out for being arrogant.

Just when he is wondering what to do next, a call comes through from Steel Dragon, the English band he has been copying, because they have reached the end of their tether with temperamental front man, Bobby Beers (Jason Flemyng). Chris takes his place, changes his name, milks the fame, rides the hysteria, overindulges and guess whose left behind amongst the mobbing throng?

So far, so predictable. And this is the problem with the movie. There is nowhere to go except from one hotel orgy to another concert. The support cast is interchangeable, with the exception of Timothy Spall, as the Dragon's roadie, who, as you would expect, is uniquely himself.

Wahlberg started life as Marky Mark, a white rap singer, who made it even bigger when he modelled Calvin Klein underwear. He knows the territory and performs with unexpected energy. He is in his element and he lets it all out. Aniston keeps it all in. What else can she do? She has the dog of a role.

The rise and fall of a rock god is one thing, but as Almost Famous and Nobody Someday shows, there is more to the music business than white powder, knocking yourself out on stage, lavish entertainment and waking up with an unknown chick in a strange room somewhere, wondering what day/city/time zone it is.

Rock Star has the beat. It even has the vibe. But it ain't got the soul.

Reviewed on: 09 Jan 2002
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Rock Star packshot
Mark Wahlberg rises from lead singer of tribute band to lead singer of the band itself
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Director: Stephen Herek

Writer: John Stockwell

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Flemyng, Timothy Olyphant, Timothy Spall, Dominic West, Jason Bonham

Year: 2001

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Almost Famous