Bandslam is an American musical romantic comedy set in a high school. The film centres around Will, a teenager with an unhealthy musical obsession with David Bowie, and his move to a new school. Here, he meets Charlotte and the pair form an unlikely bond and friendship through their appreciation of music. Together they assemble a like-minded group of misfits to form a rock band and compete in a battle of the bands competition names Bandslam.

In the main role of Will is Gaelen Connell and this was his first main part. It’s a part that he isn’t bad in but he doesn’t actually do anything all that good either and is outshone by other members of the cast. Aly Michalka and Vanessa Hudgens play the two love interests and were both praised for their performances upon original release. This surprised me as I didn’t think either of them were particularly fantastic although Hudgens did pull off her character pretty well and Michalka manages to convey the two sides of her character Charlotte’ personality very well. Lisa Kudrow puts in a humorous performance as Will’s caring mother but has limited screen time.

It would be pretty easy to sit there and nit pick what is wrong with Bandslam. The movie has a strange quality in that it seems to move at a pretty fast pace with nothing of note actually taking place throughout many of the scenes; the character’s have very little to them for the first three quarters of the film and we are left in a position where we don’t really care what actually happens to them because we don’t know anything about them. The relationships between Will and both Charlotte (Michalka) and Sa5m (Hudgens) seem to come from nowhere and have absolutely no substance to them, although as the movie progresses the relationships do get more attention and become more personal which is a good point.

For a comedy, Bandslam is not very funny and has very very little laugh out loud moments. Other than a brilliant scene showcasing Will and Sa5m’s first kiss there are no other real funny moments in the film, which is a shame because if every scene was of the same quality as this one Bandslam would have had some serious potential. However, the musical aspects of the film are fantastic and the songs written specifically for Bandlsam are actually really good and really well written. They provide great story telling devices and provide further, much needed insight to the characters.

Thankfully, despite a poor start Bandslam has a pretty good ending which manages to save itself from being a poor film all round. The final half an hour finally gives us some back story of the characters and actually makes them seem like real people which we could have done with a lot sooner. The climatic battle of the bands scenes are okay but nothing to really shout about but a great little cameo from Will’s idol David Bowie at the end really concludes the film in a nice way.

Bandslam is by no means a classic but if you have nothing else to do one day it might be worth a watch. It’s an all round enjoyable film that provides light relief without ever challenging anything.

My Rating: 6/10

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