The Rocketeer (1991)

Joe Johnston directs Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton in this period comic book movie where a 1930s test pilot evades gangsters and nazi-spy movie stars when he finds a prototype jet pack.

Pretty sure I saw this at a caravan park as a kid’s club movie. They’d rollout a portable CRT and play a Benji movie or Tucker: The Man and His Dream just as it was a PG and would occupy a morning. This has low level jeopardy and the affectionate glaze of a by-gone age. Pre-war Hollywood is wonderfully realised with old faces and styles resurrected convincingly to add patina to the gentle romp. Dalton in particular relishes his cartoon take on an alt-Errol Flynn swashbuckling saboteur. Yet it often is very much the formulaic, toothless Disney film. Busy in its moments but forgettable a few hours later. Bill Campbell’s lead is a bland substitute for Billy Zane or Bruce Campbell. Alan Arkin gives a very spaced out non-committal turn as the ‘Doc Brown’ figure to our Brylcreem’d ‘Marty McFly’. Really a film where a zeppelin explodes over the Griffith Park Observatory should have a little more impact than this.

6

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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