School of Rock

Jack Black plays Dewey Finn, a layabout musician with dreams of being a rock star. When he gets kicked out of his band, and his flatmate starts pushing him to pay his share of the rent, he fakes his way into a job as a teacher at a prestigious primary school. At first he tries to get by with a minimum of effort, but when he realises that some of the kids in has class are decent musicians, he starts secretly training them to enter a rock band competition.

Just as the character of Dewey Finn is too much in love with his guitar solos, so the film is a little too preoccupied with Jack Black solos. I know it’s a star vehicle for him, but it still felt like too much of him, especially when the film didn’t need an excess. The script is good, the situation is funny, and the supporting cast–especially the kids–are strong enough that they could have carried more weight. For all the manic rocking energy on display, the production itself felt very tight and controlled.

That’s not to say it isn’t any good–it is. For a film that has school kids so much at the heart of it, it’s not just for children. There are plenty of jokes that require some knowledge of Rock history to appreciate, so all of us thirty-something parents will appreciate it, too. It comes together as a strong all-round family-friendly comedy. Not an all-time great, but very entertaining nonetheless.