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The Rocketeer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   If you thought "Batman" was the best superhero movie possible, think again. "The Rocketeer" is a true superhero movie in every sense of the word. Where "Batman" was dark, grim and had an ambivalent ending, "The Rocketeer" is bright, exciting, and has an honest-to-goodness happy ending (hey, what else would you expect from Disney?). "The Rocketeer'" like the classic comic book on which it's based, has a great hero, a beautiful heroine, and despicable villains. Yet, despite this seemingly tired formula, the story manages to be fresh and engaging.

Set in Hollywood in 1938, the movie centers around Cliff Secord, a young pilot, and his girlfriend, Jenny. Cliff dreams of being a national airplane-racing champion, but his hopes are shattered when his plane crashes due to a bullet from a nearby clash between the FBI and some mobsters. Soon after the crash, Cliff and Peevy, his mentor and mechanic, discover a mysterious jetpack hidden in the hangar by one of the mob. They can solve their financial difficulties by using the jetpack. Of course, the FBI, the mob, and a mysterious villain are all after the pack, and, when they kidnap Jenny, Cliff is forced to become the Rocketeer.

The flying scenes alone would make the movie worth seeing, in my opinion. Even "Top Gun's" special effects can't touch these. Bill Campbell is a convincing and charismatic hero, and Jennifer Connelly makes an appealing Jenny. It is also refreshing to see a heroine who is more than an object to be kidnapped and rescued. Jenny is an active and unflinching participant in the plot. It was great to see Timothy Dalton as a villain for a change, and he does a good, if predictable, job. My only complaints with the film are that the FBI agents are a bit too wooden, the scene on top of the blimp struck me as unrealistic, and there is a bit too much violence for younger children..

Unless happy endings get on your nerves, I recommend that you go see "The Rocketeer." n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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