It’s difficult to watch Rent and not constantly think of Team America: World Police’s satiric song “Everyone has AIDS,” since nearly everyone in Jonathan Larson’s early ‘90s Manhattan-set musical reworking of La Bohème really does have AIDS. Unfortunately, the memory of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s goofy marionettes singing about disease is the most entertaining thing about the new film version of the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning show, which manages to hit some high notes thanks to Larson’s still-vibrant and infectious tunes but is constantly dragged down into mediocrity by Chris Columbus’ dreary, rhythm-challenged direction. To be fair, Columbus – who never met a blah framing composition he didn’t love – adapts his material for the screen far better than Susan Stroman does with the upcoming The Producers. And a few numbers (primarily the showstopping “La Vie Boheme”) have a boisterous verve. However, despite some energetic performances from its cast – most of whom (with the exception of Rosario Dawson as stripper Mimi and Tracie Thoms as Joanne) originated their roles on stage – Rent feels not only dramatically laborious (especially with regards to its HIV call-to-arms and anti-establishment, pro-art attitudes) but dated, just as its musical numbers remain (with a few exceptions) embarrassing examples of why guitar-driven rock has no place in a big, boisterous Broadway musical.