Rockets Red Glare
Recommended for ages 12 and over
Theatrical Release: 8/27/2000
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Writer: Christopher Bremble
Producer: Mike Elliott
Director: Christopher Bremble
Runtime: 120 min.
MPAA Rating: TV-PG
Starring: Robert Wagner, Marilu Henner, Ryan Merriman, Oliver Hudson, Danielle Fishel.
A troubled teenage boy takes on the enormous task of restoring a Mercury Redstone Rocket in memory of his father and finds adventure with the help of his classmates and ex-astronaut grandfather. This family drama airs Sunday 8/27/00 at 8-10 pm (ET/PT) on the Fox Family Channel.
Good family relationships are extolled in this otherwise far-fetched rip-off of "October Sky." At first, the film shows promise, with the ex-astronaut grandfather helping his grandson come to terms with the death of his father. But all of a sudden it becomes ludicrous. Make that downright ridiculous. When one of NASA's orbiting spaceships breaks down, the government needs our hero's rocket to launch into space with the corrective equipment. And with no one capable of flying this rocket, guess who gets to go? A sixteen-year-old flying a space rocket! Is NASA really in that much trouble?
It's one thing to let your imagination go, but to enjoy this outlandish concept, you'd have to stretch it farther than space itself. You must remember, however, I am not a 12-year-old. Having a youngster be the hero of a film can cause kids to use their imagination. As any parent knows, kids enjoy things that seem to escape us adults. We therefore recommend "Rocket's Red Glare" due to the clean script and positive role models. But as an adult, if "October Sky" were playing at that same time, anywhere, I'd tune it in instead.
Violence: The father is killed at the top of the the film in an accidental explosion; a teen is caught in a fire but not harmed; another malfunction nearly causes another death.