(out of 5)
Delightfully committed performances make this comedy work, even when the uneven screenplay is at its weakest. Mark Wahlberg plays a die-hard heavy metal fan whose obsession with a particular band called Steel Dragon has gone as far as his fronting a tribute band. When the lead singer of the real group (Jason Flemyng) is fired for lack of professional attitude (and, oops, for being gay), Wahlberg is brought in to replace him thanks to video cameras catching his phenomenal voice during a tribute concert. Now, he and girlfriend manager Jennifer Aniston are taken on a wild ride across the country as he tours with the band and sings all their famous songs, all the time hoping to strike out on his own as a musician if only his band members would let him. Things start to get scary, however, when the wild life of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll take their toll on our hero and he risks losing the love of his life. Wahlberg is perfectly amiable in the lead, while Aniston provides terrific support as his always supportive lady no matter what the circumstances. A killer soundtrack also helps really put it over.
Warner Bros., Bel Air Entertainment, Maysville Pictures, Robert Lawrence Productions, Metal Productions Inc.
Directed by Stephen Herek
Screenplay by John Stockwell
Cinematography by Ueli Steiger
Music by Trevor Rabin
Production Design by Mayne Berke
Costume Design by Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Film Editing by Trudy Ship