Movie Review: School of Rock

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Dewey is at rock bottom in the music industry. He’s lost his band, has no money, and has no gigs to make it. He has been told that he “sucks” and should give up his futility career by many. He ignores the advice and setups up shop in his brother’s apartment.

But when the brother demands rent, Dewey decides to stick with his passion- Rock music, and not only ignore his brother, but also impersonate the bro. He takes a substitute teaching job to make some money, but after seeing how these kids play instruments, decides to teach them to play rock.

The kids join in and they all prepare for the battle of the bands a few short months away. And no one in the school is the wiser.

Things I Liked

Dewey initially takes the job as substitute to just pay some bills. Eventually though, he grows to care for the kids. Telling them to make good life choices (not like him), to watch who they hangout with, and that Rock isn’t all about beer and drugs. In his own flawed way, Dewey tries to give sound life advice, and at times does succeed.

Things I Didn’t Like

While Dewey may succeed at times in advice, he also fails pretty miserable often too. He tells them to stick it to the man, to rebel against the institution, and to lie to their parents because of the secret.

Speaking of lying, our protagonist is one of the most prominent I’ve seen on screen for a while. He lies about where he has been, what he has done, what the class is doing, where the contest is… and more. What’s worse however, all in the name of the contest’s good, he gets the class to lie as well. When they start enjoying it, the class starts making up their own stories, and develop attitudes not in any way respectful.

There is some mild sexual innuendo in a bar scene.

The kids in the movie, after being told to by Dewey, begin to curse to make them have an attitude. We hear a—, d—, and some others. They pray to a nonexistent god.

Closing Thoughts

“God of Rock, thank you for this chance to kick —. We are your humble servants. Please give us the power to blow people’s minds with our high voltage rock. In your name we pray, Amen.” ~Dewey~

 And with that prayer the entire class goes to compete in the battle for the bands. Complete with costumes and foul language to boot. Dewey may have provided the kids with some excellent fun in  preparing for the contest. And he may truly care about them too. However, all of this is done through manipulation, lies, and corruption.

People say this is a comedy, but I didn’t find it funny. Maybe it was because most of the jokes were about “kindergarten” potty humor scale. Maybe because Jack Black is a low class dude who doesn’t respect authority and teaches the kids to disregard it as well. Or maybe because we are shown kids who are taught to curse, and then do so on a fairly consistent basis.

Whatever the reason, I can say School Of Rock is an offbeat wreck that I’m not sure even auto tune can correct. As far as PG-13 movies go, the content is mild, but the the messages heavily out of sync. No one changes for the better, but all change for the worse. That, to me, seems like regression- not progression. I think of that verse in Luke, which per usual, sums it up nicely.

“And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”

Luke 17:1-2

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