Yes, you need to know that going in – or, at least, I think it helps – otherwise you’re liable to turn it off once the real fun starts. Sure, it’s somewhat pottymouthed. Maybe somewhat unconventional. But mark my words: this is exactly the kind of motion picture your teenage son or daughter is likely watching once mom & dad turn off the lights and go to bed. No, it isn’t pornographic, though certain acts will certainly be alluded to on more than one occasion. And, yes, it’s a bit rowdy … and bawdy … and raucous … and even downright obnoxious at times. Heck, this is probably the kind of flick that finds a solid audience at film festivals, comic book conventions, or other SciFi retreats where a good time is had by all because no one is concerned about the ‘appropriateness’ or ‘inappropriateness’ of the subject matter and performances.
It’s just movie fun.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
In a top secret location, the U.S. government has been secretly saving the planet since the 1960’s when a downed UFO and its curiously Jesus-looking alien occupant gifted Uncle Sam with the technology to deflect meteors from bombarding our planet. These heroes are dubbed “Rock Jocks,” and their graveyard shift team is made up of one malcontent after another – the female perfectionist (played by the immeasurably perky Felicia Day); the can’t-get-it-together single dad (Andrew Bowen); the foul-mouthed know-it-all (Justin Chon); the racist foreigner (Gerry Bednob); and the son of the ‘company’ hero (Kevin Wu). Through in cult film favorites Jason Mewes and Robert Picardo, and you’ve got a nerd’s dream cast to end all dream casts! Together, they spend the night at odds with one another and the judgmental government bureaucrat sent to shut them down forever … while the grand-daddy of all meteors gets closer and closer!
Stop right now …
Regular folks? You probably ain’t gonna like this one. Rock Jocks is a geek’s comedy, through and through. A nerdboy’s flick. A fanboy’s diversion. It’s exactly the kind of small picture that lights a fire under a very specific community of film lovers and/or pre-pubescent and/or post-pubescent boys (and girls) interested in SciFi, general nerd-dom, video games, and – cough cough – Felicia Day. If you find yourself fitting comfortably into that unique sub-segment of the general population, then I’d honestly be surprised if you sat through this harmless flick and didn’t at least have as much fun with it as I did. No, it’ll never change your world; instead, it’ll show you how the disenfranchised of our clique will save it (being “save the world”) as only we could.
If you understand half of what I’ve written thus far, then Rock Jocks is for you. I’m not gonna tell you it’s perfect because it’s not. Justin Chon’s vile shtick goes on for far too long. Gerry Bednob is increasingly difficult to understand. Some of the characters could’ve been fleshed out a bit more, and some of the incessantly clever and/or quirky dialogue could’ve been dialed back just a bit. Still, this is a pretty smart film – a debut, in fact, written and directed by Paul Seetachitt – and I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more like it.
It’s not quite what the doctor ordered, but it’s pretty close all the same.
Rock Jocks (2012) is produced by Bright Penny Productions and Intelligent Life Media in association with Dog & Rooster Productions. DVD distribution is being handled through Cinedigm. As for the technical specifications, the film looks and sounds fairly solid, though I’ll have to admit that I had some real difficulty in understanding Gerry Bednob when he spoke – it’s a very thick dialect that seriously could’ve been poked fun at with subtitles, but maybe that’s just me. Lastly, the disc does offer up three very short behind-the-scenes interview segments, spread out across the ensemble cast, and they’re harmless fluff but definitely worth watching if you enjoyed the film as much as I did.
Strongly recommended … especially for those of you (like me) who considered yourself card-carrying geeks, nerds, and/or other social misfits. While some of the performances and/or dialogue is unnecessarily over-the-top, there’s still even more about Rock Jocks to like. Picking up on an idea started years ago in The Last Starfighter (1984), the hiring entity this time is Uncle Sam! Only the best and brightest will be recruited to save the planet from being pulverized routinely by space rocks … just don’t look for this group of the best and brightest to always look, dress, think, and behave like the best and brightest.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Cinedigm provided me with a DVD copy of Rock Jocks by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.