Rocketeer, The

(1991)
Rocketeer, The

Starring Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly. (PG)

 

One of those films that’s great to look at but never quite takes off in every other department, The Rocketeer was expected to be a big smash in the summer of 1991 but instead was trampled on by cinemagoers in the stampede to see Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Terminator 2. It’s the 1938-set story of bland stunt pilot Cliff (played by a bland Campbell), who sees a way to distinguish himself from the crowd and impress his gal, Jenny (Connelly, displaying enough cleavage for this to warrant a parental warning), when he stumbles across a prototype rocket jet pack that blasts him into space but, strangely, doesn’t set fire to his trousers. Soon he’s transformed himself into the Rocketeer, complete with cool leather jacket and a helmet that hides his identity, and is off skywards to do battle with everyone from gangsters to nasty Nazis.

It’s not a patch on Raiders of the Lost Ark (from which it borrows heavily), but there are some stunning sets and nice performances from a cast that also includes Alan Arkin (as Cliff’s helmet-designing buddy), Timothy Dalton (as an Errol Flynn-esque egomaniacal movie star with his eye on Jenny) and Lost’s Terry O’Quinn (as Howard Hughes) to make up for Campbell’s lack of screen presence and a dull, action-free first half. 

Star Star

SCARY MOMENTS:

Bad guy Lothar (Tiny Ron) kills a few characters in scary ways. The climactic scene on the zeppelin is also quite frightening, but should be fine for over 10s.

Rocketeer, The
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