Release Date: June 21st, 1991
Genre: Action, Adventure
Being that The Rocketeer came out 30 years ago this year, I was feeling nostalgic and wanted to watch it again. I never saw it in theaters so I had to wait and see it when it finally came out on VHS. I remember my brother and I watching it a few times growing up and we each got the Rocketeer bendable figure. I also remember the basic plot to the movie, certain scenes from the movie and that is it. Watching the movie again now as an adult (it has to be at least 25 years since the last time I saw this movie), I am reminded of how much I have forgotten about this movie.
The Rocketeer is based on the graphic novel character created by Dave Stevens. The quick plot of the movie is this, Pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) and his mechanic friend Peevy (Alan Arkin) come across a rocket pack that was stolen from Howard Hughes (Terry O'Quinn). There is a group of gangsters who want this rocket pack along with the government who also wants it back. Along the way we learn that the gangsters are hired by movie star actor Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) while Secord's girlfriend Jenny (Jennifer Connelly) gets caught up in the plan to get the rocket pack back from Secord. Ultimately the plot goes from Secord trying to save his girlfriend to him foiling a Nazi plan of domination using rocket pack soldiers and saving his girlfriend.
The plot works for the movie and like all movies, if I think hard enough, I can punch holes through the plot. How was the rocket pack stolen so easily if it was supposed to be so important to national security or why does Sinclair have what seems like a whole unit of German soldiers at his command who no one notices until he calls them? Ultimately, the movie's plot still entertained me as a kid and to some degree as an adult. I also did enjoy the setting of the movie with its 1930's Hollywood theme.
Watching the movie again as an adult, I'm surprised how much violence is in this movie for a Walt Disney picture. Granted, you see little to no blood, but there is a fair amount of gunfights, explosions and action in this movie. While The Rocketeer mostly just flies around and uses his fists when he does fight, everyone else use is using tommy guns and handguns. This is a comic book movie in my eyes and as a kid and as an adult the acting didn't do much to impress me. Don't get me wrong, I didn't think the acting was horrible by any means. It's just that I go into movies like this to be entertained, not to be moved by the acting. I was also surprised on how many actors from this movie I have heard of or seen other movies/TV shows they have done in the past thirty years.
Looking back at this movie now, I ask myself why I haven't watched this movie more in the past thirty years but I quickly answer my own question. This movie has action, an average plot and a decent amount of actors who have had decent movie and TV careers. It's the type of movie you can throw in, grab some food and just enjoy for about two hours. It's also the type of movie that once you are done watching it you pretty much forget about it besides one or two scenes. Thirty years later, I'm glad I took the time to watch this movie again. Hopefully I don't go another thirty years until I watch it again.