Red Rocket

Red Rocket ★★★★½

sean baker’s the worst person in the world.

who knew we needed simon rex this badly on film, let alone ever? baker’s attempt to personify america’s current psyche into one single human being is a bit of a wonder. his ability to tap into a particular voice of the country without necessarily poking fun as almost just getting down and dirty with it and trying to figure it out in the process. rex is baker’s muse this time around and his full-of-shit mikey character might be my favorite performance of the year. it’s not like able. not in the least. but he’s human warts and all and i couldn’t help but watch his 20 car pileup of role.

supporting performances by both bree elrod as mickey’s estranged wife and suzanna son as the underaged girl he is grooming towards his own selfish needs are beautifully realized showing the tragedy that someone like this mother fucker can lay to waste. son’s character in particular might be troubling to some, but it doesn’t make her any less real of a person. clearly the world is full of ‘strawberry’s’ who’s lives are always upended by a limp dicked mikey.

all of this is happening during the 2016 elections between donald trump and hillary clinton, that’s similar to andrew dominik’s low-key crime film  killing them softly which was set during Obama’s first year. so naturally baker’s got some thing on his mind. it’s not really a hammer though, though so much as a 3D printed replica of the times. but the american dream here isn’t about an organization of hoods trying to game the system from the inside out but rather a single lone con artist who isn’t smart enough to know he’s already lost. bigly.

ps. don’t let mikey ruin your buddy’s party at oceans.

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