Rocketmen of a Different Time

Well, now that Yves Rossy has flown across the English Channel, I’m feeling nostalgic for a great film called The Rocketeer.  Yeah, it was Disney, but it was fun.  And it had that same joy–a man finds a jetpack and flies through 1938, doing good.  Started as a comic book, The Rocketeer was an homage to the early adventure serials (much in the same way Indiana Jones was a nod to them).  It didn’t do so well at the box office, but I bet it gets a revival.  Superhero movies are popular.  Superhero Literature is taking over the publishing industry.  Now a man flies with his jetpack without crashing.

I remember the movie because the art deco of the poster extended to the sets, Timothy Dalton (the current, at that time, James Bond) was the villain, and the hero was so gosh-darn good.  I really enjoyed the whole triumphant feel of the movie–the lack of cynicism.  This wasn’t The Dark Knight.  It was just far enough removed from Superman movies with their movie-brand idealism and perky people but not deep in the reverse-cycle we’re on now with the Watchman coming soon.

Lastly, we come to Iron Man, the jetpack story with political commentary.  I mean, we’re in a political age.  So that’s cool.  But there’s less innocent joy and more revenge, more concentration on this as a weapon of mass destruction as hero.  The villain is not a Dalton-esque individual, but a war, a people, even greed.  Iron Man is fighting conceptions.  The Rocketeer had his Nazis, an ideological flashpoint for heroes forged in the thirties and forties.  They were also a people, in a war, bent on world domination.  Funny thing now is– the people, the war, the greed — it’s US we’re fighting — both U.S. and us…

So, remember as you take up your Jet pack:

With great technology comes responsible ideology….

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