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(Review originally written at 29 January 2006)

I have to say that I was both surprised and disappointed to see that this movie only has a 'low' 5.9 rating on here, at the moment. This movie is pure and good entertainment, how someone could not enjoy this movie really puzzles me. It has all the elements in it to make a movie entertaining.

Perhaps to the most important element to make a movie entertaining are the characters. The characters have to be fun, likable and stereotypical over-the-top. "The Rocketeer" has characters like that. Bruce Campbell is a great heroic leading man and Timothy Dalton for once plays the main villain. He is a villainous version of action/adventure from the '30's and '40's superstar Errol Flynn. His fun and almost indestructible henchman is a Rondo Hatton like character, who takes on a small army of feds with just only his 2 guns. Other great character in the movie are the gangster boss Eddie Valentine played by Paul Sorvino, Howard Hughes played by Terry O'Quinn, Alan Arkin as A. 'Peevy' Peabody and a young Jennifer Connelly as the love interest and dame in distress.

The story involves flying stunts, Nazi's, feds, gangsters and Hollywood. It all forms a perfect combination in the story and together it makes "The Rocketeer" an entertaining movie, that in terms of entertainment is on the same level as the Indiana Jones movies. Joe Johnston surely doesn't make 'great' movies but yet he knows how to make a movie entertaining, which still makes him one of the better directors. The movie is beautifully crafted and told. The time period the movie is set in (the late '30's) work wonderful for the story and gives the movie a great adventurous atmosphere. The sets and costumes also contribute to this. The great musical score by James Horner makes the movie even better than it already is and it is still one of his better works.

The movie has some great action and adventurous sequences that are highly original. Also the 'early' special effects are above par and still look acceptable enough by todays standards. The ending sequences in the zeppelin is especially great, spectacular and unforgettable

Granted that the story and acting performances are all quite simple but that at the very same time is part of the charm of this movie.

Delicious over-the-top entertainment.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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