Tuesday, June 5, 2012

School Of Rock (Richard Linklater, 2003) Review

Jack Black's a musician. Jack Black's an actor. So why not make a film where he's both! That's exactly what they did in School Of Rock. Sure, we've seen films about rock before that feature songs throughout but the highlight in this film is that not only is Jack Black using his actual skills and talents but the entire class of kids is full of talented musicians...and Miranda Cosgrove. Go figure.

Dewey Finn (Jack Black) is a wannabe rock star who has been kicked out of his own band. Upon hearing from his flatmate/land lord Ned Schneebly (Mike White) that he needs more money in order to pay the rent, Dewey poses as Ned, a substitute teacher, in order to teach at a school having fooled the principal Rosalie Mullins (Joan Cusack). Obviously, Dewey has no idea of how and what to teach so instead he forms his very own band with the students in order to compete in the upcoming Battle Of The Bands contest.

Music. There's a lot of it. Now, I'm a fan of rock music (y'know...classic rock like AC-DC and the such) so the references and covers of famous songs. Sure, they do their own songs which are great and very memorable (I should probably look for the soundtrack or something, it's a great soundtrack). This film is definitely for rock fans but it can be enjoyed by people who aren't.

There are two sides to the audience as they relate with the characters more. One half is like Dewey, rock fans who are shocked when people don't know about classic rockers, and the other half is the students, not having any foreknowledge of rock and being introduced to it. It's a film for everyone but rock fans will get the most out of it.

I feel obligated to address the incredible talent of the students themselves. They are fantastic musicians that kind of make me feel useless. Aw well. You win some, you lose some. Sure, not all the students are in the actual band, there are kids behind the scenes (not of the film, but for the band) such as technicians, groupies and the campiest kid in film history as fashion designer. Seriously, that kid must be dubbed by a girl. Summer Hathaway (Miranda Cosgrove) is the teacher's pet who Dewey appoints as the band's manager, she is one of the most memorable characters in the film. Whether of not that's a good or a bad thing is up two the audience. Personally she gets pretty annoying but she does have some redeeming moments.

School Of Rock just cries out to rock fans and, while there are probably a few better rock films out there, it still holds up as an entertaining film with a satisfying and non-traditional ending. This film holds one of Jack Black's best roles. If you are a fan rock, this is a must see.

A must see film for rock fans but it could end up alienating people who don't like rock...to each his own.

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