Film review: “Red Rocket”, a vision of the superficial loser


Simon Rex in Red rocket (A24)

Sean Baker’s trash, vaudeville and soft-core politics

At The start of TexasvilleJeff Bridges’ middle-aged entrepreneur, Duane, collapses in his backyard pool and points a gun at his groin. “I’m thinking of pulling on my penis,” he drawled. “It’s only got me in trouble my whole life.”

In Red rocket, Simon Rex plays Mikey Saber, a former Lone State stallion who doesn’t realize he’s headed for Duane’s regret. That’s because director-writer Sean Baker designed Mikey solely around his lower region. The crude title of the film not only equates Mikey with one thing, but specifically with the flaming limb of a dog. Unnecessary excitement and malicious abuse describe Baker’s comedic cosmic vision.

Baker’s outlaw cinema specializes in special interest groups: the transgender, welfare state, and sex worker ‘communities’ who are pimped to progressives and government darlings. liberal media. He brings an undeniable energy and humor to his thug stories – Tangerine, the Florida project, and now Red rocket – that it is easy to think that he likes his subjects. After all, they are not described as America’s “deplorable” ones, but as its “underserved” – the people politicians praise as examples of diversity, for whom liberal Hollywood feels pity and despair. superiority.

Red rocket would seem dehumanizing and contemptible if it weren’t for Rex’s three-dimensional portrait of Mikey’s outlaw; exhibiting the stupidity, misused charm, and misguided talents of a full-effect head hitter.

A victim of his redneck origins – hence his fate, Baker implies – Mikey returns to his west coast hometown after a stint in prison and a shrunken porn stardom. While preparing for a comeback in his career, he first spongs ex-wife Lexi (Bree Elrod) whom he dutifully bonk after taking a “magic blue pill”, his toothless ex-mother-in-law Lil (Brenda Daiss) and a neighbor Lonnie (Ethan Darbone) as unlucky as him but not handsome. Mikey clings to an easily corruptible 17-year-old donut shop waitress, Strawberry (Suzanna Son) as if reliving his own lost innocence. Her goal of making her the next porn nymphet (and the meal ticket) taints this character study. (Mikey’s affectionate obscenity with Strawberry ignores the inevitable porn industry tragedy dramatized in Justin Kelly King cobra.)

Red rocket is not it the Texasville sequel that Jeff Bridges and Peter Bogdanovich had long anticipated as a The last picture show trilogy; Baker skips their emotional amplitude. Its bailiwick is sordidly real, bordering on soft-core as lowlife exploiter Larry Clark did with Children, but without ever transcending it. Instead, Baker does trash and vaudeville like in his demotic fashion ad. Khaite FW21. Heir to the debauchery once celebrated in fine art photography by Nan Goldin and Larry Clark, Baker’s boisterous humor revel in “the lived experience” as regularly claimed by minorities.

Baker’s lascivious approach to the modern half-world made him a media darling, but that amorality was recently rectified in the shocking lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Black Rider,” “The size of your dick won’t take you. nowhere.” Red rocket Would be a better movie if Mikey heard it or if Baker considered it. But Baker avoids Dylan’s shock and is content with shallow jerks. Simon Rex’s self-critical performance is half-deep, confronting her own MTV VJ and porn past similar to how Melanie Griffith kicked off her usual indolence in Clark’s Another day in paradise.

Rather than go any further, Baker subjects Mikey to a strange coming from a family of Métis wasters. This follows a brief TV clip of Donald Trump saying, “I think the election will be rigged,” obviously from 2016. Making an inaccurate and faulty connection between Orange Man’s arrogance and selfishness in Red Rocket is Baker’s real judgment. Red rocketClass exploitation mixes charm and contempt, uniting the country through Baker’s soft-core vision of American losers.

Armond White, cultural critic, writes about films for National exam and is the author of New post: The Prince’s Chronicles. His new book, Making Spielberg Great Again: The Steven Spielberg Chronicles, is available on Amazon.


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