Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Film Hits the Rocks to Pander to Teens

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Film Hits the Rocks to Pander to Teens

Article excerpt

Swoosh! Zoom! Pow! Loaded down with wall-to-wall fancy camera movement and blaring classic rock, Detroit Rock City should come affixed with a surgeon general's warning about attention deficit disorder.

Gimmicks can be quite useful in the absence of an actual plot, sympathetic characters or a brain. Will the kids dig it? Let's just say the film's cartoon-character logo is plenty appropriate on the maturity meter. The content meter, however, is another story.

Does the thought of aging former Playmate Shannon Tweed getting busy with Edward Furlong make you happy? How about Furlong puking into a margarita blender? Best yet, how about a complete lack of plausible context for any of it? It's rated R, so it can only be a nostalgia fantasy for adults who wish they were 14 and on their way to a Kiss concert.

South Park may have been a vulgar movie featuring cute animated figures, but it also satirized the very concept of movie ratings. Detroit Rock City, on the other hand, is a celebration of adolescent stupidity, tagged with the restricted rating that keeps 'em out of the theater.

The saving grace of Detroit Rock City? It knows how over-the-top, whoo-hoo! flat-out stupid it is. OK, it does wax on a little lip service to the idea of stubborn parents and nice kids who just wanna have fun. The adults in Detroit Rock City are unfeeling, hypocritical, buffoonish, out-of-touch party-poopers. That's what happens when Hollywood decides to make the balance of its product -- and I do mean product -- for teenage boys.

Of course, these teenage boys come from a time when the Beavises of the world didn't rule the roost. It's the '70s and Kiss is all the rage. Our four teen heroes (Furlong, Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello and the comparably appealing Sam Huntington) want to check out the heavily made-up rockers in concert. One problem: The movie's adults (see above description) think Kiss is the devil's spawn. …

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