Spandex pants, teased manes and fawning fans “ Vesuvius had it all. But the Eighties glam-metal foursome didn’t give drummer Robert “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson) a chance to rock out with its lucrative record deal, replacing him with the son of the record label owner and going on to rock ‘n’ roll glory.
Decades later, a down-and-out Fishman has been moving from one dead end job to another, and eventually finds himself crashing in his sister’s attic, as his former band prepares to release yet another acclaimed album and successful tour. Fishman’s fat, nerd nephew (Josh Gad) is preparing his garage band, A.D.D., for its big prom-night debut, when the drummer gets grounded. Enter Uncle Fishman. Through a fluke incident, the kids are given a chance at their dreams, and Fishman is given another shot at his.
As a drummer situated between the guitarist and bass player, Fishman points out that he has the best seat in the house. I’d like to see what “The Rocker” looks like from up there, because from my seat, there isn’t much to watch. Halfway between an over-the-top comedy and a Disney movie, “The Rocker” is stale and boring.
It just doesn’t have anything to hold on to. Gad is an unfunny Jonah Hill, while Wilson is particularly ineffective at netting laughs or sentimentality “ both nuances for which his role is cast. Fishman’s character is basically Wilson’s Dwight Schrute from “The Office,” which is why it’s so offensive to watch him fail so miserably at performing it.