Gort vs jetpack Nazis - we take a look at superhero classic The Rocketeer

"Rocketeer has a wonderfully-90s charm and an Indiana Jones-like dose of family-friendly fun"

When Marvel wanted someone to direct Captain America, a patriotic superhero movie set during the second world war, there was only one man they wanted - Joe Johnston. The reason was The Rocketeer. Just like Captain America, The Rocketeer is a touching, retro, action-packed comicbook adaptation about an underdog who stumbles onto superpowers and becomes a reluctant hero taking on the Nazis. Unlike the star-spangled avenger's film, however, Rocketeer has a wonderfully-90s charm and an Indiana Jones-like dose of family-friendly fun.

Bruce Campbell's cousin (seriously) is a loser stunt pilot in 1930s Hollywood who is desperate to make it big in order to impress pin-up style Jennifer Connelly (well, who wouldn't be). Unfortunately, his plane gets shot down by escaping gangsters who are firing at the FBI, losing his only form of income. So, when he finds the gangsters' ill-gotten package, he decides to keep it and try to make some quick cash.

Sorry, dodgy curry

Trying it out, Campbell's cousin and his mechanic, Alan Arkin, discover the package is actually a prototype jetpack designed by Howard Hughes. Donning a finned helmet to stabilise his flight that helpfully conceals his identity, Campbell's cousin intends to use the rocket to become a sideshow attraction, but ends up having to save a pilot from crashing his plane, becoming an instant superhero the press call The Rocketeer and a target for the gangsters, who it turns out are under the employ of Timothy Dalton's Errol Flynn knock-off Nazi spy, who's also after pin-up Jennifer Connelly, who is actually kind of a bitch.

This all leads to one of our favourite moments in all of cinematic history, when the gangsters realise they're working for Nazis and switch sides, giving The Rocketeer chance to don his backpack and take to the skies after Dalton's zeppelin, leaving behind a flaming American flag in his wake as Paulie from Goodfellas winks "go get 'em, kid". That's how you do it, Sam Raimi.

The effects may be low-tech, but that only adds to the retro charm. Elsewhere, the scenery-chewing performance by Dalton is absolutely delightful and Connelly looks stunning. This is a proper, heart-warming, Sunday afternoon movie that absolutely everyone should have seen.

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