The Rocker (DVD)

Are you ready to rock?

Twenty years ago, drummer Robert ‘Fish’ Fisherman (Rainn Wilson) was ousted from rock band Vesuvius just before they became international megastars. Rendered violently bitter by the experience, Fish has been unable to move on with his life – but when his young nephew asks him to drum for his band, ADD, Fish begins to realise that life really is what you make it.

A dot-to-dot of feel-good teen movie tradition, Cattaneo’s (The Full Monty) film is saved from drowning in cliché by the strength of Wilson’s performance. Best known for his role as the militant Dwight Schrute in The Office: An American Workplace, Wilson is here transformed into an energetic, grungy heavy metal-head. And although he’s working with a one-note premise – middle-aged man refusing to grow up – Wilson throws himself on it with gusto, eeking out as many laughs as possible from the simple script.

Wilson’s young co-stars are solid enough, as is Christina Applegate as the mum of ADD’s lead singer. Praise, too, must be paid to Chad Fischer, whose original, upbeat soundtrack keeps the whole thing moving at a clip and makes ADD a band you can really root for. Which means that, by the time the pat ending comes around, the obvious outcome should raise a small smile in all but the most cynical viewer. 3 stars

Extras Features
There are two audio commentaries, and the strongest is with director
Cattaneo and actor Wilson. The two have great fun in discussing the intricacies of the film, and it’s easy to be swept up in their enthusiasm. The second commentary is with the young actors who make up the members of ADD, and their energy is also infectious. There are also seven featurettes on various aspects of the film, plus deleted scenes, gag reel and music video. 4 stars

Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Josh Gad, Emma Stone
Director Peter Cattaneo
Certificate 12
Running Time 1hr 38mins
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Format DVD (£19.99)
Released March 9