Rock the Kasbah has a strange mix of ingredients that makes you think that it could find success. It’s one of those movies that looks to be wild and hilarious with a funny man like Bill Murray in the middle with a nice cast surrounding him. I went into this with high hopes because of those factors, but what I got simply doesn’t come close to meeting those expectations.
Featuring Bill Murray as its central character, Rock the Kasbah tells the story about Richie Lanz (Murray), a washed up agent looking for that special talent. While that’s been incredibly difficult for him, he thinks he may have found just that after he travels to the Middle East and hears the voice of a young girl who appears to have a great deal of talent being hidden from the world. His only problem is that in order for him to turn her into a star, he has to get her out of the country alive.
One of the major negative points with Rock the Kasbah comes in the form of its shape. In short, the structure here is poor. Right from the opening scenes, it never really settles and feels like there were at least three separate movies in the mind of the writer at some point. In reality, I think sticking with any of the storylines and/or subplots would have made for a more fulfilling experience for viewers. Instead of that, a movie delivered to us on a shaky foundation is the end result.
Even though the structure does serious damage to the movie, it could have still been saved to some extent with some good laughs being served up. Since this is a comedy, you’re naturally going to want to find something amusing during the course of the movie, and having that aspect properly installed could have still made this worth while to some extent. While the film boasts plenty of jokes, unfortunately almost none of them are actually funny. That sucks to say, because I wanted to laugh, but none of it allowed me to.
For a person who was actually looking forward to Bill Murray’s follow up gig in the lead role to 2014’s St. Vincent, I hate to say that I’m disappointed in this film. While he and the rest of the cast attempted to make something out of this flick, they simply didn’t have anything to work with. From direction to plot to story, nothing works or really makes sense. I’m hoping Murray’s next job will make for a much better outing. It can’t be much worse than Rock the Kasbah. If it is, he may want to speak to whoever is putting these offers in front of him.
Director: Barry Levinson
Film Length: 106 minutes
Release Date: October 23, 2015
Distributor: Open Road Films