Rocketeer [1991]

Based on a retro-styled comic book hit of the '80s, this Disney film was meant to launch a whole line of Rocketeer films--but the series began and ended with this one. That's too bad, because this underrated Joe Johnston film has a certain loopy charm. The story centers on a pre-World War II stunt pilot (Bill Campbell) who accidentally comes into possession of a rocket-propelled backpack much coveted by the Nazis. With the aid of his mechanic pal (Alan Arkin), he gets it up and running, then uses it to foil a plot by a gang of vicious Nazi spies (is there any other kind?) led by Timothy Dalton. Jennifer Connelly is on hand as the love interest, but the real fun here is when the Rocketeer takes off. There's also a nifty battle atop an airborne blimp. --Marshall Fine

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