Directed by: Joe Johnston
Cast: Bill Campbell (Cliff Secord), Jennifer Connelly (Jenny Blake), Timothy Dalton (Neville Sinclair)
You might assume from this film’s art deco designs, gangsters, Nazis and airships, that this is an adaptation of a genuine ’30s pulp comic hero. But no. The Rocketeer was actually created in 1982 as a pastiche/homage to early heroes such as Commando Cody. He wasn’t exactly the most successful comic character ever, though, starting life in Starslayer, before starring in three issues of his own comic. But the concept was cool enough to inspire this movie. And Starslayer has never had a movie, has he?
It’s a decent enough romp, with stylish designs, fun action sequences and Timothy Dalton twirling his evil moustache with relish. The plot’s simple: pilot Cliff Secord stumbles across a rocket-propelled backpack that enables him to fly, and helps him defeat a nefarious Nazi plot. The idea’s entertaining enough and the actotrs put in some energetic performances, but ultimately it all becomes a little one-note. It’s undeniably an agreeable rainy Sunday afternoon flick, though.