Red Rocket

Red Rocket ★★★½

Never been prouder to be from Texas…

Baker’s undying commitment to stained and messy realism is a style he has undoubtedly mastered in his impressively short stint as a well-known indie filmmaker. The sprawling industrial landscapes spitting grey fumes into the sun-soaked dusk provide an incredibly scenic and telling backdrop for the equally harmful and problematic Mikey Saber, who is a neurotic narcissistic manipulator with just enough charm to infect others with his presence (much like another figure that appears on the TV multiple times in this film).

Red Rocket candidly portrays many issues that plague our current sociopolitical landscape today, however I wonder if Baker’s non-committal style sometimes conflicts with the subject matter he’s depicting. Additionally, I think his attempts at levity or comedic relief fell a bit flat, but again I think this is more of a reflection of his loyalty to realism (people aren’t funny irl). 

Without a concrete narrative running throughout, Red Rocket is much more a character study and hangout film, one that I think can overstay its welcome at times, but for the most part, does a damn good job at presenting an interesting character with enough depth to keep the film flowing. I guess my main issue is I’m not sure I’m getting much of a takeaway from this film, which is bizarre considering a lot of heavy themes are thrown around like candy. Also still not sure how I feel about the ending. 

I’m between a 7 and an 8 but for now I’ll stick with a high 7. It might grow on me though.


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