Review Date: September 09, 2001
Director: Stephen Herek
Writer: John Stockwell
Producers: Toby Jaffe, Robert Lawrence
Mark Wahlberg as Chris Coles
Jennifer Aniston as Emily Poule
Dominic West as Kirk Cuddy
But the even greater draw in this film is the standout performance given here by Mark Wahlberg. Wow, hand this fella some major props, as he totally becomes this heavy metal geek/god (incidentally, METAL GOD was the film's original title, and a much better one if you ask me). He is this movie and I was quite taken by his character pretty much the whole way through. He came off like a regular guy with extremely passionate goals and work ethic, who was willing to do anything in order to fulfill his dreams. Aniston was also surprisingly good as the girlfriend (and the romance angle between them was sweet), but she didn't pull me in hard enough during their emotional scenes. I was also impressed by some of the "real" musicians who played in the film (Zakk Wylde from Ozzy Osbourne, Jeff Pilson from Dokken, Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind, Blas Elias from Slaughter), but actor Dominic West as Kirk Cuddy made the biggest impression among the band members. It's to note that this film was based on a real-life tale of a young man who used to sing in a Judas Priest cover band and then went on to become their actual singer (their original singer also admitted to being gay, as in this film).
Just for the record, I'm certainly not recommending this film for its originality or surprise elements, since most of this stuff has already been covered in some way or another in other movies, but because it's a fun, uplifting, well-paced movie with a solid central showing by Wahlberg and energetic live performances. Oh yeah, and for those who dig the "heavier" side of music, the soundtrack also rocks!! You see...dreams can come true...