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A24's Red Rocket (2023) | Film Review

Mikey Saber is a charismatic con man, hustler and washed-up porn star. Saber plots for his return to the big time from his small home town in Texas, that can barely tolerate him. Saber continues pushing his luck as far as he can, living on the edge of life and hoping for change to find him. 


From writer-director Sean Baker, who brought us features like The Florida Project and Tangerine has taken a softer approach for this storytelling. With a live-write performance from Simon Rex as Mikey Saber which sadly outshines the film itself, Red Rocket (2023) is a slow paced drama with little charisma. With a subdued plot the film is lucky to have Rex at the centre of it all, every memorable detail is from Rex’s performance alone.


Red Rocket (2023) is silly, baffling and often random but holds your attention until the end for you to ultimately be let down. I was expecting a lot more from this feature, more thrill, more comedy and more crudeness but instead the film was mediocre and only interested me because of the performances. Without Simon Rex, Red Rocket (2023) would be a flop. 


With a runtime of over two hours you expect more memorability, something which stands out as being truly hilarious or remarkable. Red Rocket (2023) left me with nothing to ponder and nothing to boast about. The film is marketed as a dark comedy but lacked both genres, it was funny on occasion but didn’t deliver in every moment. Some of the visuals were enjoyable, Mikey riding on his bike and all the scenes in the doughnut shop with Strawberry were fun to watch unfold. 


Overall, Red Rocket (2023) was a let down. I have been intrigued to watch this film since I saw the trailer, I was expecting more comedy and more likeable characters. Everyone felt a little lacklustre and the film felt more like a documentary than a feature film, everything was quiet and needed to be louder. 


4/10 Probe Points 

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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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