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rocketman poster
click for full sized poster


Starring Harland Williams, Jessica Lundy, William Sadler, Beau Bridges and a chimpanzee.
Screenplay by Craig Mazin & Greg Erb
Directed by Stuart Gillard

IN SHORT: Airplane on Mars.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that Rocket Man is, based on the commercials, just the kind of thing that Cranky sharpens his eyeteeth on. You're thinking Cranky's probably doing a little Cranky-dance thinking of some pithy way to shred this monkey.

Yeah, Cranky was already working on appropriate space age daggers to toss at this man and monkey on Mars shoulda gone straight to rental flick (for the parents to buy to keep the kids it was made for happy). Knowing that the kidlets were the real market, I hunkered down in a real audience, determined to watch the kids and go with that.

Ninety minutes later, Cranky stumbled out of the theater, shaking his head -- as did all the parents lugging happy youngsters out

- - 'cuz we had all laughed our asses off.

There's nothing to say about Rocket Man, other than it's a comedic fantasy about a geek with a major astronaut jones. If I wanted to point out that none of the age references work out mathematically or other important junk like that, I would. Rocket Man is solely a vehicle for the comedic talents of Harland Williams, who is Pee Wee's Playhouse crammed into one body (but without the voice).

To be more accurate, Astronaut Fred Randall (Williams) is more like a 30 year old with the mindset of a 3 year old. He makes his living writing computer software for NASA. When an astronaut on the Aries Mars mission goes down for the count, Fred winds up in the capsule with the lovely Julie Ford (Jessica Lundy), the strait arrow Captain William Overbeck (William Sadler) and a chimpanzee named Ulysses. That's the framework for Williams to go berzerk.

Rocket Man is a delirious romp. It is incredibly dumb and funny. Harland Williams wreaks destruction wherever he goes, not apologizing for anything he's responsible for because "It Wasn't Me!" Last year, Tom Cruise had us yelling "show me the money;" "it wasn't me" will be this year's catchphrase.

On the kids' side, the sound of monkey cries filled the theater. Remember the chimp that I mentioned? Well, all the astronauts talk monkey speak to it and . . . you get the picture.

There is also the full complement of bathroom and fart jokes, breaking chairs and glass and general destruction. It takes about 20 minutes or so for you to realize that you are actually laughing at all this stuff. I haven't laughed as much at any down and dirty comedy since Airplane.

Yeah, I couldn't believe it either.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Rocket Man, he would have paid...


This is going to be a monster sales and rental when it hits video. If you've got kids, you won't have a problem taking 'em.

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.