review for The Rocketeer on AllMovie

The Rocketeer (1991)
by Michael Costello review

Like George Lucas, who later hired him to work on the Young Indiana Jones series, director Joe Johnson clearly loves the old Saturday morning serials, and also like Lucas, he prefers to avoid the campy tone with which such films are now made. The film tells the story of a young test pilot (Bill Campbell) who must fight to keep a rocket-powered backpack which allows human flight out of the hands of a Nazi spy (Timothy Dalton). Although it keeps the innocent spirit of the early serials, the film improves upon them in its writing and attention to detail, and naturally benefits from the vast improvement in the technology of special effects. Campbell seems an attractive but unusually blank performer, and Jennifer Connelly, in one of her early roles as his girlfriend, also has little more to do than look pretty. The action of the film is entertaining enough, especially for a very young audience.