I dragged my husband and child off the the sneak preview of THE ROCKETEER on Saturday, and I was very glad I did (even though I didn't get a commemorative button).
THE ROCKETEER is sort of a slower-moving Indy Jones movie with time for a little character development and things like that. The action scenes are superb, and the performances are good. And there are so many little extras in this movie, I'm not sure where to begin.
There's a thug in this movie who's the living image of Rondo Hatton, a character actor who always played thugs in 1940s B-movies. The movie has much of the structure of a 1930s or 1940s movie, with heroic heroes, villainous villains, an over-interest in the doings of Hollywood, and a fancy restaurant scene with singing and dancing. There are "appearances" by folks like Clark Gable, W. C. Fields, Howard Hughes, and other characters of the era. Timothy Dalton gives a perfect performance as an Errol Flynn-like actor with a penchant for over-acting. And Jennifer Connelly has matured significantly since she played the Dorothy-like character in LABYRINTH.
This movie is solid and extremely enjoyable. While there's some sexual innuendo in the movie and some character endangerment, I think most kids over about 7 would like it (I think it's rated PG). It was also a pleasure to see Alan Arkin in a film---where the hell has he been lately??? The lead actor is amiable enough as the Rocketeer, but I can't say he gave the sort of performance that Harrison Ford did in the Indy movies. While he maybe could have used a charisma transplant, he was okay. (Besides, if we still need charisma, we can go see Kevin Costner this weekend!!)
I disagree strongly with the earlier poster who compared this film to BATMAN (and the poster didn't like BATMAN either). BATMAN was a film where style triumphed over all. THE ROCKETEER never quite lets style overtake a very compressed story.
The ending is loads of fun. Seriously.
This is a solid 7 on the movie scale. Absolutely worth your time, and a movie you can take your kids to (even if they did have a preview of TERMINATOR II which featured full sidal nudity of Arne!)