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Rocket's Red Glare

Human Rating: 3.5 / 5 Alien Rating: Government Cover Up

He needs that rocket.

Rocket's Red GlareIf you had the chance to do a really cool science project, what would it be? How about restoring an ICBM-sized rocket? Chris Bremble's debut film Rocket's Red Glare will guide you through it. Starring Austin Power 2's Robert Wagner, Marilu Henner from "Taxi", Deep End of the Ocean (1999)'s Ryan Merriman and "Boy Meets World" Danielle Fishel, this feel good TV movie will please the whole family as well as the lone viewer. Rocket's Red Glare is a demonstration of the power of will and the value of science.

Todd Baker, a quiet, under-achieving high-school student has always dreamt of space exploration. A third-generation spacecraft pilot wannabe, he is given the opportunity to restore a Mercury Redstone rocket... for his senior-high science project! High and lows will greet him and his family as the restoration takes place while an emergency develops in space.

Rocket's Red GlareNot unlike SpaceCamp (1986) or Explorers (1985), Rocket's Red Glare presents the viewer with a teen who has nothing but space exploration in mind. Looking at this adolescent having fun working on a rocket with his friends will surely spark the imagination of the under-aged, who might actually discover themselves in Todd. Furthermore, given that science is the way of the future, the hero character demonstrates that what one learns in school really does apply in the real world.

Rocket's Red GlareBuilding on the idea of imaginings, one of Rocket's Red Glare strongest themes is about pursuing one's dreams. The film leading character, Todd, has set himself an amazing goal for his science project. With almost unbearable time and financial limitations, he sets his mind to attain his target. While you may not feel it on TV, his passion rapidly sets fire to the imagination of his surroundings. Soon enough, one starts remembering such periods of intense work and success... and feels like being out there, achieving something!

Lastly, the film takes the observer in contact with an rapidly fading method of space flight: flying with a human pilot. Indeed, with the increasing use of navigation automation, most of today's rockets and shuttle launches are almost pilot-free. Such a tendency will soon result in windowless shuttles (like the X-33 prototype) where the spirit of control and conquest are just mere memories. Rocket's Red Glare assists in capturing that very spirit and showing the audience what true pioneering space flight is all about: heroism, risk, pride and will.

Rocket's Red GlareOverall, you'll be glad to see Rocket's Red Glare. This is not an special effects mega production or an ultra-violent alien shooting-spree: this is a feel good family movie that you don't want to miss. Rekindling the real nature of space exploration, the movie will make you wish you were lucky enough to be in Todd's shoes. If you dream of building your own space-vehicle like in Explorers (1985), if you long to be selected for an outbound trip as in Contact (1997), or if you wish you were some Space Cowboys (2000), then see Rocket's Red Glare. You won't be disappointed.

Now, if I could only find an abandoned rocket somewhere...

Review by René-Marc Simard.

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