Stunt pilot Cliff Secord isn’t your average superhero. Actually, most people would argue that he isn’t a superhero at all, despite the jet pack on his back and the ruddered Art Deco helmet on his head. He’s not particularly strong or smart. But he is heroic, which is more than you can say for most. And regardless of the fact that the movie flopped at the box office, it holds up decades later with a breezy, pulpy charm that is completely missing from today’s sad, sarcastic, self-aware superhero stock. With beautiful 1930s production design, an angelic-looking Jennifer Connelly, Terry O’Quinn (Lost‘s John Locke) as Howard Hughes and one of the coolest-looking helmets ever, The Rocketeer deserves to be rescued from the cinematic dustbin.
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