Red Rocket – Film Review
Director – Sean Baker
Writers – Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Stars – Simon Rex, Bree Elrod, Suzanna Son
Mikey Saber (Simon Rex) left his home town in search of the bright lights of the film industry, just not the one you’re thinking of! Mikey’s main talent was dangling between his legs and he quickly became a star of the adult film industry. Sadly, his career path did not go quite as planned, so Mikey has arrived back in his home town… with his tail between his legs! His first destination is the home of his estranged wife Lexi (Bree Elrod), who is less than excited to see him. Once he has wormed his way onto her sofa, he sets about making his way back to the top. He aims to achieve this through peddling soft drugs and also through his fascination with a very young woman who works at the local Donut shop called simply Strawberry (Suzanna Son).
If you’re wondering who director Sean Baker is, he’s also responsible for the glorious film Tangerine, which featured hookers pulling each other’s hair in Tinseltown on Christmas eve. His second feature film was the slightly more conventional Florida Project, but there was still a lot to like about it, just without the Hookers and the hair pulling.
if you look through the career of main actor Simon Rex, you’ll see a surprising amount of trash! As well as being an MTV VJ he also worked briefly in porn. Indeed, who can forget Young, Hard & Solo #3? So, it could be a case of life imitating art. His main talent is his smug grin, which he wears for the duration of this film but he works well as a man getting by on his wits. Suzanna Son channels Heather Graham as Rollergirl, and is enjoyable as the fresh faced Strawberry.
We’ll get this out of the way for starters, the plot is a little bit icky! It revolves around an older man who has a lot of interest in a very young woman. If you can’t get past that, then it’s not the film for you. The film maker does not endorse the morals of his protagonist, but we do see the world through his eyes. Otherwise, there’s a lot to enjoy in this film, with its impressive performances and depiction of small town Texas. It’s another quirky indie gem from a director who is building up quite a back catalogue of the same.