Not only is a Detroit Rock City an incredibly exciting and feel-good comedy but it also features an engaging coming of age story. Think Dazed and Confused and you’ll know the vibe. The whole movie unfolds over the course of one day creating this fast-paced and upbeat atmosphere. This is practically an adventure movie, especially if you think about what these kids are after. The cinematography is excellent as are the production values, so this movie looks and feels very appealing. It takes us to a different time with such ease and style that you can’t help but fall in love with it. It will warm even the coldest misanthropic millennial hearts. I know it did mine.
Detroit Rock City also evokes all those nice and innocent feelings from your youth. A time when you were willing to move mountains in order to get what you want. As we get older, that spark in us slowly dims and you have to work really hard to keep it alive. The music helps with this, especially if you had “your genre” when you were younger. Speaking of music, the soundtrack for this movie simply rocks! It’s full of classic rock anthems and it generates this positive vibe, almost making you believe in that Kiss mantra. And if this isn’t your cup of tea, at least the whole thing is easy to watch with a running time of just ninety minutes.
Hawk, Lex, Jam, and Trip Verduie are all members of the most awesome Kiss cover band on Earth: Mystery. The year is 1978 and the boys heard that their favorite band is coming to Detroit. This can mean only one thing: they must get to that concert. They have no money, no car, no tickets, and no Azamat. However, that will only bolster their spirits because they care not about obstacles awaiting them. They care only about one thing and that thing is the band Kiss.
Using the framework of rebellious teenagers doing something that they’re “not supposed” to, Detroit Rock City pushes back on the “official system of values” with class and style. The casting choices were perfect, there’s obvious chemistry between four teenagers, led by Edward Furlong. That seventies feeling of the vibrant musical scene, possibilities, and of course, sex, is something that I truly enjoyed. It felt like they were filming in that era. However, I must stress that this is not a seventies circle-jerk movie with forced nostalgic moments and crap about “better times”.
This is above all a fun and entertaining teenage comedy with a really good script and director, so be sure to check it out. Especially if you like this type of stuff, it’s like a That 70s Show movie. If you’re looking for something similar, you might wanna skip a decade and check out Keanu Reeves going to prom in The Night Before. Or just go full-on Jack Black and rewatch School of Rock along with Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny. However, probably the best movie to watch after Detroit Rock City is The Stoned Age, an underrated masterpiece. And finally, as a fan of metal, I can’t help recommending Deathgasm.
Director: Adam Rifkin
Writer: Carl V. Dupré
Cast: Giuseppe Andrews, James DeBello, Edward Furlong, Sam Huntington, Lin Shaye, Melanie Lynskey
Fun Facts: KISS re-enacted a ’70s-era concert with 8,000 fans for the filming of the movie.