Wade on Birmingham

Sidewalk 2008: Electric youth


Movie review: ‘Adventures of Power’

By Stacy Vance

Mine worker by day, air drummer by night, he’s a man-boy with a dream. In “Adventures of Power,” our hero Power must overcome all to fulfill his musical destiny.

Adventures of PowerAri Gold — the writer, director and lead actor — combines elements of “Rocky,” “Zoolander,” “Footloose,” “Rudy” and a heap of “Napoleon Dynamite,” not to mention most comedies and inspirational find-yourself movies.

I’m almost embarrassed to say that I enjoyed as much of this movie as I did. The plot’s not new, but it’s entertaining if you’re up for some silliness.

The movie opens the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival tonight.


When I saw Power air-drumming his little heart out against industrial backdrops, it brought back fond memories of Kevin Bacon’s writhing dance around the flour factory in “Footloose.” Bacon’s character Ren was born to dance, just like Power was born to air-drum.

“I wonder why the universe made me want to drum, but didn’t give me the chance,” says Power in a moment of frustration. No one understands Power’s special gift, except his adolescent best friend Bobby.

No hero is complete without his villain. I love, love, love Adrian Grenier (“Entourage”) as Dallas Houston, a cocky hip-swaying country singer from the right side of the tracks. His overbearing father forces Dallas to play the actual drums, when all Dallas really wants to do is play air drums. He’s the perfect nemesis for Power, and the way he shines onscreen is absolutely terrific.

And no hero is complete without some jeopardy. Power’s daddy works at the copper mines, owned by Dallas’ daddy. Cue the workers’ strike, which threatens the town and sets Power inevitably on a long, dangerous and extremely odd journey away from Lode, N.M., to find his people.

Without giving away too much, I will say a wise mentor helps Power become the air drummer he can be, plus a forbidden love, a menacing Chihuahua (I love a good Chihuahua scene) and the ultimate challenge where our hero must prove his mettle.

The movie goes on a bit long — at a point, I was just ready to get on with it. The cliches grow arduous, and the story heads toward a predictable climax.

I’m not sure how “Adventures of Power” will be received as the festival’s opening film, but it offers enough giggle opportunities with its sweet, simple, cornball story of hope and triumph.

stacy vanceStacy Vance, who worked as an actress and crew member on the Birmingham-based feature “Killing Christian,” is a sales rep for Raypress Corporation, a local specialty label company.

“Adventures of Power” will screen at 8 tonight at the Alabama Theatre.


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