VIDEO: The Rocketeer (1991)

Solkir reviews a comic book movie brought to us by Disney. He expects no fewer than three talking animals.

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  • Mike Smith

    Good thing this is Michael Eisner’s equal to “The Lone Ranger”, which is a blockbuster that wasn’t and should’ve been.

  • Muthsarah

    “I severely doubt the US government would allow a German vessel into American airspace”

    Never heard of the Hindenburg? The zeppelin? Big flames? The humanity? It actually was German-owned and it did burst into flames and crashed while flying over New Jersey in 1937. And not much had changed by 1938, especially prior to the Munich Crisis (which was about Germany and Czechoslovakia), so there would have been no reason for the US government to forbid a German zeppelin, a luxury passenger plane, especially since an awful lot of powerful US interests still thought highly of Hitler at the time.

    “[Neville Sinclair] is charming as fuck”

    He’s Timothy freaking Dalton! It’s kinda weird to think that he made this movie around his Bond days, and would, here, make for one of the better Bond VILLAINS. The guy just oozes awesomeness, no matter which side he’s on.

    I really like this movie. I wouldn’t call it generic, I’d call it successfully simple. Like comfort-food, in film form. You know what everyone is and where they’re gonna end up, but it embraces these formulas and plays ’em to the nines. The hero isn’t a brash, cocky frat boy, he’s a kind, competent, slightly irresponsible guy. Peevy isn’t a doddering comic relief foil, he’s a plausibly-intelligent inventor who’s getting a little tired of looking after his surrogate son. Jenny isn’t a shrill moron (except for the flare gun thing), she’s……uhhh….generic, I guess. But gorgeous. That’s…technically something. She’s not annoying. Look, the bar for “the girl” in comic book movies still hasn’t been set terribly high, less so twenty years ago. As for Neville, see the previous paragraph. I also really liked the guy who played Hughes, and “Lurch” wins style points; it was weird, but not Dick Tracy weird. I don’t mind the slow parts either. What’s wrong with a movie slowing down to explain how the rocket works? The movie’s ABOUT the rocket. And don’t forget your…sploosh scene…is in one of the longer “slow” scenes. The film makes ’em work by keeping them simple too, and giving some of the supporting cast a few lines.

    Seeing Cliff flying around, I’m immediately reminded of Spiderman, and how that movie felt. It too was going for a goofy vibe, even with the patriotic shout-out thing, and it too had good-for-the-time-but-not-so-much-now effects, and an aw-shucks hero, and an actress/nothing love interest, and a hammy villain. But I can’t think of a single thing Spiderman did to improve on The Rocketeer. Spidey’s slow scenes in particular were often dreadful. The Rocketeer deserves more love, it’s a great little movie.

    • $36060516

      I was going to post the same thing about the Hindenburg…

  • A movie so well regarded in action circles that the Director was chosen for “Captain America: The First Avenger” based on it.

    • $36060516

      Where can I join one of these action circles?

  • mofs

    Hmm … Jennifer Connolly was nearly in two comic book movies playing a Betty,

  • Kenneth Peter Shinn

    Everything does NOT go “back to normal” at the end. The Rocketeer has clearly become a folk hero (witness the little kids in Rocketeer masks) and Peevy has acquired the plans for an improved rocket-pack. A sequel was clearly being planned for. And it’s a real shame that it never happened: I personally love this film. It’s intelligently-written, carefully-researched, nicely-acted – and the effects and music are top-notch. It does not insult the intelligence of its audience. And I’d much sooner watch some ordinary stiff with a handy (but limited) piece of technology to a superhero or heroine capable of pulling pretty much any power out of their arses to save the day.

  • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

    Bit nostalgic for me as I enjoyed it as a child

  • Thomas Stockel

    Sorry you didn’t like the film, because I’ll tell ya, Howard Hughes showing up at the end in an autogyro for me was a “hell yeah!” moment. I just have so much fun with this film, I even own the soundtrack.

    That being said, You do point out a few of the film’s flaws; it does drag in bits, and I do wonder what the Nazis’ escape plan is seeing as they have the entire United States to cover. I guess they could head out over the Pacific to Japan? I think the idea was for them to make a quiet exit via Zeppelin, but the FBI showing up kinda ruined that.

    Finally, I had no idea about the whole Errol Flynn thing in regards to his reputation. I had heard rumors but did not know the source. I remember when Howard Chaykin’s Blackhawk mini series (which sucked. Literally) which had the main bad guy an Errol Flynn clone who was a Nazi, which came out in ’87.

    Off on a tangent here; that comic is pure shit.

  • wahaha

    I’m waiting for someone to say this was a better Superman movie than MOS.