The Rocketeer was and is a tribute to the movie matinee reels of the past. A time when going to the movies was an adventure and an outing for the whole family and would last for several hours. This film captures that passion and patriotism of the past and serves it up to you in a thrilling action packed adventure.
This film is based in part on the comic book art of Dave Stevens who best known for his Bettie Page Comics as well as Elvira’s House Of Mystery. Since this is a Disney film we do not get all of the sexy and sexual overtones that are in Dave’s work but they do show off the women in this film as you would expect them to be in the late 1930’s. The director Joe Johnston was able to take the script for this film and turn it into a love letter to the past. A love of high adventure with futuristic fun where the good guy always gets the girl in the end. It is a shame that more films of this type were not done. You might know some of Johnston other work, Jumanji, Jarassic Park II, Hilalgo and others. He is also directing the upcoming Captain America film slated for this year, 2011. Just another reason to see another film from his past.
Bill Campbell plays a young pilot Cliff Secord who has dreams of wining the nationals when everything goes wrong. His new plane is wrecked, he is out of money and his girl, played by Jennifer Connelly is mad at him for not being more supportive of her acting dreams. Just when he thinks all is lost he finds a mysterious jet pack that the FBI and Howard Huges, played by Terry O’Quinn, want back. Even the mob and an actor Neville Sinclair, played by Timothy Dalton, wants the pack as well as the Nazis for the war effort back in Germany.
This is a tale of a young man who will do anything to make sure that his girlfriend is safe and he is able to fly. We get to see just how noble and courageous a person can be when they are literally thrown into a situation with no other option to sink or fly, pun intended. Watch as Cliff and Peevy, played by Alan Arkin, work together to get the jet-pack running right and use it to fight off everyone that is after them. We even get to see Jennifer all grown up, this is no Labyrinth teen here. She is all grown up and the curves definitely fill out the 30’s style dresses they put he in to show off her chest.
Even though this film does have a sexier side to it, it is still a film that the whole family can get together and watch for all sorts of reasons. Just like the cartoons of the time that has the jokes and innuendos for the adult and the action and excitement for the kids. Films that use this kind of recipe are always going to be a huge success and this one is no exception.
I give this film a Musing review of