Adventures of Power, the jejune writing and directorial debut of Ari Gold, wants very badly to win you over—so badly that you’ll be surprised by the one or two instances when it does. Gold (and, in case you’re wondering, there’s no connection to the agent of the same name on Entourage) clearly had fun applying the underdog narrative rubric—re-popularized by films like Napoleon Dynamite, Dodgeball, and a host of geek competition docs, most notably Air Guitar Nation—to the story of an aging oddball with an air-drumming dream. Unfortunately, the visual joke of the titular lead character “Power” (played by Gold) has legs about as pale and spindly as their owner’s: the headband, the short-shorts, the safety glasses—you know, and long ago ceased to be moved by, the rest. Gold’s performance as an air drummer from New Mexico who finds his tribe in New Jersey, romances a deaf girl, and competes to save his father’s job at a copper mine, is as endearing as it could be, and Adrian Grenier (weird!) gives an extremely game performance as a country star (and actual drummer) who mocks air drummers for sadistic kicks, but the film—despite some successful goofs and a defiantly dorky Phil Collins tribute—can’t quite win for trying.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009