Rating: 1.5 stars
Behind-the-scenes casting decisions are rarely made public—it’s only way after the fact that we discover that John Travolta turned down the Richard Gere role in American Gigolo, or that Mel Gibson was tapped to play Russell Crowe’s part in Gladiator—but it seems pretty clear to me that Rainn Wilson was not the first choice for The Rocker. The role practically screams Jack Black, and, frankly, he would’ve been better at it.
I like Rainn Wilson well enough—he was deliciously creepy in Six Feet Under and brings his own strange, uptight energy to The Office. But he’s not leading man material. Okay, maybe in some sort of Vincent Gallo-helmed indie film, but in a lovable family-style romp, not so much. His eccentricity has too much of an edge.
In The Rocker, Wilson plays drummer Robert “Fish” Fishman, who was kicked out of the 80’s metal band Vesuvius right before they made it big. (Don’t even ask me to decode the horribly unfunny opening scene where Fish, upon hearing of his ouster from...