School of Rock

Jack Black has always been a scene-stealing supporting performer who has finally become a proper leading man in his latest outing School of Rock. It’s a custom made role that allows him to use his considerable comedic and music talents that he has shown in his group Tenacious D.

Dewey Finn (Jack Black) is a typical garage-band guitarist who has never had much luck in the world of rock and roll. He’s the sort of guy who tries to stage-dive and the crowd moves out of the way. His band finally tire of his endless solos and grandstanding for the docile crowds and decide that its time to kick him to the kerb.

With his band having kicked him out Dewey is forced to spend more time in his flat with his nerdy roommate, Ned (Mike White) and his overbearing and bossy girlfriend Patty (Sarah Silverman). Patty is not impressed by Dewey’s constant slacking and begins to force Ned to evict Dewey on the grounds that he hasn’t paid any rent for a while.

So when Dewey answers a phone call from exclusive prep school principle Rosalie Mullins (Joan Cussack) who is trying to contact Ned (as he is a substitute teacher) to offer him a lengthy, well-paying contract to teach at her school, Dewey decides that there is no harm in a little impersonation to pay the rent.

So Dewey arrives at the school, masquerading as Ned, and is let loose with a class of posh children. After hearing the kids play during a music class Dewey’s tiny brain comes up with the idea of forming a band with the kids. He organises the 10 year-olds into a group complete with groupies (er? A little weird that), roadies and a manager.

After Dewey ‘educates’ the kids, who until now only played classical music, in the ways of Black Sabbath, AC/DC and other heavy metal icons. Soon the kids have taken to rock much to the delight of Dewey who has another one of his ideas – let’s enter the band into the local radio station’s Battle of the Bands contest.

Can Dewey manage to teach the kids enough about rock to win and what happens if his cover is blown?

School of Rock is an entertaining enough film and that is to no small part due to Jack Blacks enthusiastic and hyperactive love of rock. The role is tailor made for him and it shows; it’s obvious that he is improvising often during the film as the rest of the cast just sort of stop and tries to stifle smiles. Speaking of the rest of the cast there are some very amusing kids in the band – the funniest being Billy (Brian Falduto) as the band’s designer who produces glittery costumes for the band and worships Liza Minnelli. Also worth mentioning is busybody Summer (Miranda Cosgrove) as the bands manager.

Underneath the fluffy exterior of a kids film is an entertaining film that does actually rock (what a crap cliché). Dewey’s attempt to encourage the kids into rock at first seems to be for his own personal gain, but the film does take a turn towards Mr Holland’s Opus.

On the whole School of Rock is an inoffensive and entertaining film that is only slightly over sweetened towards the end, but don’t let that put you off.

Score 8/10