(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Rocketeer)
Doug (vo): Yet another film that got a lot of people talking about it when it first came out, and then just sort of disappeared: The Rocketeer, a superhero in the 40s that finds a rocket pack and is using it to try and stop Nazis. Well, okay, it’s a little better than I’m making it sound.
Doug (vo): The more appropriate way to talk about it is, Cliff is our hero and he discovers a rocket pack that was hidden in his place. Him and his friend, played by Alan Arkin, test it out, and it turns out, they really enjoy it, and they want to keep trying it. But when a pilot loses control of his plane, it’s up to him to save the day and sure enough, now they got a hero on their hands. But an evil villain, played by Timothy Dalton, is an actor in Hollywood who is actually a spy for the Nazis. They want to use the rocket pack to take over the world by flying around and being unstoppable. Yeah, not the most probable weapon of war, but, eh, it’s fantasy. Things get worse when they kidnap his girlfriend Jenny, played by Jennifer Connelly, and, of course, he has to go to take down the entire army, giant monster thugs, and a huge blimp in order to save her.
Doug (vo): The film definitely has a feel of the 40s which I think is kind of welcomed. The same guy that directed this (Joe Johnston) also directed Captain America (The 2011 version), and it shows they both sort of have the same feel to them. Even the hero is kind of similar. And speaking of people in this movie, this one has a lot of big names that were not yet big names. But one of the reasons I really like this film is that while you’re watching it, you’re saying to yourself, "These people should be big names", because they’re all wonderful performers and they do a great job portraying these parts. The only one that never went on to anything was the Rocketeer himself (Billy Campbell), and I feel kind of bad. I thought actually he was a pretty legit lead. I don’t know, maybe the part just wasn’t written complex enough for him to shine, but I thought he actually did okay.
[Several of the film's action scenes are shown]
Doug (vo): The effects probably use a little too much of the green screen technology, but there’s still lots of scenes of him flying around on his own, too. Is there a lot of action in terms of punching and firing guns and stuff? Not really until the end. Most of it is just watching him fly around, but like I said, these characters are really likeable, and there’s sort of a good mystery to it as well. It has a lot of dark, gritty moments, but it has a lot of lighthearted fun also. I get the feeling this film was sort of trying to be a more kid-friendly Indiana Jones and, yeah, that’s kind of what you get. Like I said, there are still one or two gruesome deaths in there, but nothing along the lines of Harrison Ford territory. My guess is maybe that’s why it didn’t quite catch on. I think people probably did want to see him punch out a few more people or see a little bit more of a badass.
Doug (vo): But I don’t know, for a basic action-adventure, I think it’s fine. It’s creative, it’s funny, it’s got its dark elements, it’s got a fun villain, it’s got some fun side characters. I don’t think it’s grand, but I think it’s...good. I don’t know, if something like Captain America can be released to do okay, I think this one should get the same treatment. So go check it out and make its popularity soar again.
[A scene showing the Rocketeer blasting off into the sky to save the day is shown]