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The M.O.W.'s Movie Reviews (333)

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The Rocketeer 
Not as fast as "The Rocketeer", but pretty good
2.5/4 stars

With World War II raging half-a-world away, and 1938's Los Angeles appears not to be involved in the war.

Los Angeles, which is also known as "Hollywoodland" (back then), is a place where dreams are made. One of those with dreams is stunt-pilot "Cliff Seacord" (Billy Campbell), one of which is to spend the rest of his life with his girlfriend, "Jenny" (Jennifer Connely), herself having the dream of becoming a leading actress in movies.

After being shot down in a fire fight between Federal law enforcement and the Mob, "Cliff" discovers a jet pack he eventually finds out was designed by billionaire aviator, "Howard Hughes" (Terry O'Quinn).

"Seacord" eventually discovers that the Nazis are after the jet pack. So, they hire a secret agent who hides in the public eye.

Now, "Seacord," in the guise of "The Rocketeer," goes after the spy and his hired muscle in the Mob, to save the jet pack, "Jenny" and possibly the free world from the Nazi regime.

Based on a classic comic book story, this is a fair attempt at bringing a Golden Age comic book character to life. There are some problems with performances, possibly due to the script, as well as the movie is slow running.

There are some good performances in the movie, but there are some scenes where the performances are not that strong. One of the best performances is from Campbell, with Timothy Dalton a fairly close second. If you ask me, Dalton was born to play roles like "Neville Sinclaire", a suave but evil villain.

One thing that this movie does perfectly is the period costumes and vehicles. It really gives the feel of 1938. I personally liked the look of "The Rocketeer" costume. The jacket looks really nice, and the helmet/mask is simple yet futuristic.

The action scenes were pretty poor in this film. One of the climatic scenes at the end was the only good action scene in the entire movie. The rest are mostly "The Rocketeer" flying around and a few fairly good chase scenes.

The character development was not the best in this film. When this film came out, I don't recall ever hearing that it was based on a classic comic book. In fact, I don't think the majority of the movie-going audience was aware that it was a classic comic book.

The flying special effects are pretty much dated now. In some of these scenes, you can pretty much tell that green/blue screen effects are being used.

The violence is kept to a minimum. Most of the violence is fist fights, and a little gun play. There is also little to no foul language, this is a Disney film after all.

One thing in this movie that is a must see is the authentic looking "Nazi propaganda" film which shows the origin of the jet pack. If anything, this is one thing that is a must see. It's done in such a way that it will give you a chill down your spine with the visuals in it.

As for the music soundtrack, it's nice but not very memorable in my opinion.

I would have to say that this would probably be a good third choice to rent if your first choice is unavailable.

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