By Liz Lopez

Rating: B-

Bill Murray stars as Richie Lanz, is an aging rock manager in Rock the Kasbah, based on the script by Mitch Glazer and directed by Barry Levinson. In the first few minutes of the film, when Lanz is busy half- listening to someone audition for him in a not very glamorous motel, it is so obvious he is about to fill the girl’s head of falsehoods and drain the pocketbook at the same time. In the meantime, his assistant and “tired of waiting for her break” client Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel) is observing and ready to leave the business. That is until Lanz finds out money can be made with Ronnie as an entertainer for the troops in Afghanistan. Once again, Ronnie’s hunch that this trip won’t be all Lanz declares it will be, is spot on and the results are her reality. This time when she leaves, she drains Lanz of his resources and his adventures with a cast of characters in Kabul kicks into full gear. The film is worth viewing, but despite all the great cast in the film and the good music, the story lacks the punch I had anticipated. I recommend viewing it during a matinee.  

The mercenary, Bombay Brian (Bruce Willis) is menacing in one scene, but he somehow ends up letting Richie off the hook earlier than I had expected. The American arms dealers Jake (Scott Caan) and Nick (Danny McBride) are crazy enough in their own right, but they somehow disappear after they convince Ritchie of a sure fire way to help them and make some dollars to get home. The American entrepreneur who sells her wares to anyone who has the funds, Merci (Kate Hudson), has her own interests in mind, but decides she has a soft spot for the former music mogul who is having a tough time away from home.  Richie unexpectedly hears a local Pashtun girl (Leem Lubany) singing and his bright idea is to have her on the TV show Afghan Star. That is, if she can make it there alive, because in her culture, a woman singing can also seek a death sentence.

Rock the Kasbah opens in theaters on October 23rd by way of Open Road.

Runtime (in minutes): 102; MPAA Rating: R

SOURCE: Open Road

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