HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Rocketeer Up Up And AwayBuy this film here.
Year: 1991
Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Bill Campbell, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, Terry O'Quinn, Ed Lauter, James Handy, Tiny Ron, Robert Miranda, John Lavachielli, Jon Polito, Eddie Jones, William Sanderson, Don Pugsley, Nada Despotovich, Margo Martindale
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Historical, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell) is a stunt pilot who today is trying out a new aeroplane designed by his engineer, "Peevy" Peabody (Alan Arkin). They have high hopes for the craft, and the takeoff goes splendidly with Cliff handling it with aplomb. As he flies over the California countryside, he notices a car chase being staged on the roads below: the F.B.I. are chasing a police car, which is chasing a car driven by a gangster, with another hood sitting in the back firing off machine gun bullets. The gangsters have something the law wants, but as the pursuit goes on it looks as if they'll get away, even as they fire a volley at Cliff's plane, putting him in mortal peril. Cliff crashes, and the gangsters give the F.B.I. the slip for long enough to hide the top secret equipment in an aircraft hangar - when Cliff finds it later, it changes his life...

Basing blockbusters on old serials was a trick that Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark pulled off successfully, but it was not to be for Rocketeer, an expensive flop for Disney who were looking for a live action hit and possible series, placing it on the level of the seventies Doc Savage: Man of Bronze failure. It was based on the Dave Stevens graphic novel, or comic book if you prefer, a shamelessly nostalgic piece that included a plethora of pop culture and historical references, from Bettie Page to King of the Rocket Men, its most obvious influence. Taking this cue, the makers of the film went all out to recreate 1938 Hollywood, with a slickly authentic adherence to the period that is never less than convincing.

Perhaps it was this that made the film look as if it belonged in those days rather than as a spectacular nineties blockbuster like, say Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which opened around the same time, and as far as special effects went, Rocketeer didn't live up to its potential. Unless their lack of conviction was part of the homage as well? Maybe not. That said, the film did gather a cult following over the years for its wide eyed adventure and refreshing innocence in a time of cynicism, and it is well cast. Campbell was an appropriately square-jawed hero, Arkin a solid sidekick, and Jennifer Connelly, playing Cliff's actress girlfriend Jenny, appeared every bit the glamorous thirties star, although fans of the original may have been disappointed she didn't play out the Page role.

Then there's Timothy Dalton as Errol Flynn-alike Neville Sinclair (The number three box office star in America, so he says) who is also after the rocket pack that Cliff finds, along with Paul Sorvino's gangsters and the small matter of Nazi Germany. Dalton is ideal as the charming cad who almost gets Jenny sacked from his movie set until he discovers she is the girlfirend of the Rocketeer, as Cliff has been dubbed in the press. There are many nice moments and touches, such as where Cliff admits to Jenny that he's the mystery hero but she doesn't know what he's talking about having been at work all day, or Lothar (Tiny Ron), the heavy who bears an uncanny resemblance to Rondo Hatton. So yes, the recreation of the time couldn't be better, so why doesn't the film match that with excitement levels? It's that it seems such a time capsule that there's no sense of danger or involvement with the characters, as if they've been lovingly preserved yet not brought to life. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3562 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: