Film Review: Red Rocket – “hard to look at but hard to look away from”
HomeBlogFilm Review: Red Rocket – “hard to look at but hard to look away from”
As the film begins we are introduced to Mikey Saber a charming, smooth talker, hustler and above all else a washed up porn star spat out by Hollywood and looking for a way back to fame. His story begins with him back at his ex wife & mother in law’s small-town Texas home looking for a place to stay. They’re not happy to see him but he convinces them he can make money to pay his way.
The key strength to this film comes from the harrowing but ever so charismatic performance from Simon Rex, he’s a character you want to hate but can’t help but love. Every situation he gets into is by his own making. It’s key to the beauty of the storytelling, never rushed, it unfolds with care through character development and the day to day situations. Rex is supported by other performances, some real actors and other non professionals only adding to the realism of the film. They are Bree Elrod & Brenda Deiss respectfully, characters sympathetic as much as they’re unsympathetic and always adding a layer of human depth. Maybe best of all is Ethan Darbone as Lonnie. A little weak minded but big hearted, his fate is heart breaking a scene involving a car and the influence of Mikey will have you raging. As the story progresses I found it to be uncomfortable as it’s grooming almost predatory in the way the story unfolds with the character of Strawberry but it has to be there to move the story along.
The visual sense is on another level: blues and yellows blend in to the setting of this Texas industrial wasteland completely becoming its own character along with its inhabitants. With a funny uncompromising lead performance, dark engaging story and brilliant direction.
This is a film that’s hard to look at but hard to look away from.