RocketMan (1997) – Review

3 Stars

Harland Williams gets his chance to headline a feature comedy and he shines. Merging the juvenile facial mugging of Jim Carrey and the lovable dufus persona of Dana Carvey, Williams proves a likable clown in this soft-touch family comedy from Disney.

Fred Randall (Williams) is a computer software engineer whose love for space travel goes back to his childhood. When he was a kid Fred would hideaway in the dryer staring at a poster of Earth through the glass window of the machine. Using his youthful imagination to pretend that he’s orbiting the planet. His non-concerned mother (Shelly Duvall) encourages her son to follow his dreams.

When the computer specialist of a planned mission to Mars gets injured, Fred is asked to fill the position and man a vessel to the red planet. However, high-jinx ensues and Fred nearly torpedoes NASA’s plans. That’s before he single-handily saves the project and makes a hero of himself, quieting the naysayers at mission-control in Houston.

RocketMan is a harmless and sweet-natured gentle comedy. The same could be said of the film’s star Harland Williams. There are a couple of laughs particularly due to the physical comedy and idiotic nature of Williams mindless character. In the glut of movies released by Disney studios in 1997 RocketMan is not nearly as painful as Flubber or as zany and clever as George of the Jungle. But for innocuous family entertainment RocketMan is a blast.

Director: Stuart Gillard
Stars: Harland Williams, William Sadler, Beau Bridges

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