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Is “The Rocketeer” Really A Bad Movie?

The Rocketeer

Is “The Rocketeer” Really A Bad Movie?

Comic book movies are a hit or miss thing for a lot of people… Until about 2008 when the first Iron Man movie came out and it set the standard of what comic book movies should be. I kid, but let’s think about comic book movies from the 90s; Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Blade, Tank Girl, Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Darkman. But the one that sticks out to me as unique is The Rocketeer. What is The Rocketeer to begin with? Well, let’s look over his history first.

History of The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer first premiered as a backup adventure in issues 2 and 3 of Starslayer in 1982. Interestingly enough, his Wiki says he appears in those issues, but his “First Appearance” was in Starslayer #1. Weird. His premise is that of Cliff Secord finds a jet pack in a barn. That’s it. Set in 1938 during WWII, Cliff finds a jet pack that was hidden by two gangsters. It’s a fairly simple plot and him becoming a makeshift superhero is pretty neat too. The idea of having a jetpack gives Cliff the idea to become a hero. He also fights the Nazis! Yay! The comics followed that plot and premise for a while, but in 1991 Walt Disney Studios made a movie. Let’s look at that, shall we?

The movie has the plot of stunt pilot and Barn worker Cliff Secord; played by Billy Campbell, finding a jetpack and becoming a superhero. Sound familiar? The movie follows the comics to a T. And being made in 1991 has a 1930s – 1940s Sci-Fi action-adventure feel to it. The characters are likable and pretty well developed. Cliff is a likable guy and has a wide range of emotions other than “I’m a dude” and the villain being played by Timothy Dalton is likeably evil. He’s so slimy in his portrayal, I love it. Dalton plays a British actor in Hollywood who is a Nazi. Nazis in a Disney movie. And people say Captain America was the first Disney movie to fight Nazis. The woman, Jenny Blake; played by Jennifer Connelly, is really good. She isn’t some piece of tail in a dress for the hero to save and kiss, she can handle herself. Another big plus I can give the film is how much Cliff looks like the character, even down to that weird as hell helmet. Here is a comparison.

Final Thoughts

It’s a pretty good adaptation. Yeah, there are parts that drag on and feel boring, but it’s a movie that recreates the feeling of 1940’s comic book sci-fi movies. Those movies tended to drag before they got to the things we liked, let’s be real. Some of the hate I have to “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is the boring talking. 40s movies had a ton of talking, and this has some too, but it does adapt a comic well and show interest in a character not many know or even have heard of. I say check the movie out, and if you want comics, IDW has a ton of Rocketeer comics since they got the rights to produce Rocketeer comics. IDW: Making comics awesome for everything. 

What are your thoughts on The Rocketeer? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.


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About the author

Steven Atkins

Steven is a movie buff, a gamer, comic book nerd, and all around cool guy. Steven likes to play Crash Bandicoot and Shovel Knight. Steven also likes referring to himself in the 3rd person.

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