Rock Star (Sept. 7th) launches the fall season with a crashing thud. Mark Wahlberg stars as Chris Cole, a Pittsburgh salesman who fronts a mid-1980s heavy-metal tribute band and then gets picked to join the real deal. The plot — a fictionalized take on the life of Tim "Ripper" Owens, who replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest — hits all the trite notes. There's drugs, orgies, big hair, crotch-hugging leather pants and even a manager girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) for Chris to dump on the way to the top. Casting actual rockers, such as guitarists Zakk Wylde and Brian Vander Ark, bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer Jason Bonham, to play in the movie band, Steel Dragon, can't disguise the bogus core of the script, by John Stockwell. And director Stephen Herek, whose credits include the juvenile The Mighty Ducks and the tear-jerking Mr. Holland's Opus, is not the guy you'd look to for gritty truth and blunt authenticity.
From The Archives Issue 447: May 9, 1985