**½/**** Image A Sound B+ Extras C+
starring Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Dominic West, Timothy Spall
screenplay by John Stockwell
directed by Stephen Herek
by Walter Chaw Stephen Herek's return to the realm of dope-head fantasy (his second and perhaps most remembered film is Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure) gets off to a smashing start. For a brief, exhilarating time, he captures all the dim-witted exuberance, all the pathological pride, all the explosive machismo of long-haired, tight-leathered cock-rock bands and the symbiotic relationship they have with fans, who revere them as greasy, gyrating lizard kings. Once it becomes another tired cautionary tale of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, however, Rock Star turns off the amps and coasts home like a rusted-out DeSoto running on fumes.