Movie Review: RED ROCKET (2021): A remarkably acted and highly intriguing film from director Sean Baker

Red Rocket Review

Red Rocket (2021) Movie Review, a movie directed by Sean Baker and featuring Simon Rex, Susanna Son, Bree Elrod, Brenda Deiss, Judy hill, Britney Rodriguez, Ethan darbone and alexander michael.

red rocket, directed by Sean Baker (who also co-wrote the screenplay), is so remarkable at what it does well that when it takes a few missteps towards the end, it can almost be forgiven. Almost. Baker who is known for his excellent drama of 2017, The Florida Project, helps create two of the most interesting and memorable recent cinematic characters in red rocket. Simon Rex and Suzanna Son portray two very different types of people who forge a relationship that spirals out of control due to one of their very deceitful ways in Baker’s latest drama. Rex and Son deliver two of the best performances of 2021 and make red rocket a very intriguing and wild roller coaster ride of a movie in which the more Rex’s character, Mikey, lies and assumes, the more serious trouble he gets. At the end of the film, there is no turning back for Mikey.


Mikey de Rex is a former porn star who reunites with his wife Lexi (the excellent Bree Elrod) in a small town in Texas at the start of the film. Lexi and her mother (Brenda Deiss) don’t want Mikey but when he agrees to give them money to live with them, Lexi and her struggling mother give him a chance to redeem himself for his shady past. In a hilarious series of job interviews, Mikey tells potential employers about his former job as a porn actor and, of course, no one is going to hire him for legitimate work. So Mikey goes to sell drugs for an old acquaintance (Judy Hill) and as a result Mikey is able to show Lexi and her mother some much needed money.

Although it takes a while for her character to come into play, Suzanna Son plays the most pivotal role in the film’s success. Mikey takes Lexi and her mother to a donut shop where they meet a much younger saleswoman named Strawberry (Son). Mikey rushes the visit to the donut shop in order to immediately return to chat alone with the teenager Strawberry for whom Mikey develops a very unhealthy fascination. There is a significant age difference between Mikey (who is most likely in his 40s) and Strawberry who is barely 18 years old. However, Mikey’s charm outweighs Strawberry as he tells a series of lies about working in the entertainment industry and living in a very elite part of town. Strawberry rides him to a mansion-type house after they meet, but Mikey just bikes back to where he really lives – he lives with people he cheats on in order to try and make a new life for himself. Mikey also forces Strawberry to break up with her boyfriend who is around her age.

Mikey Saber is the former stage name of Simon Rex’s character in the film. This image begins to focus on Mikey’s attempts to trick Strawberry and lead her into the porn industry so that Mikey will make a profit for himself and get away from his wife. We don’t really know what Mikey thinks of Strawberry, other than he wants to get her into the porn industry and have sex with her periodically. As portrayed by Son, Strawberry’s character is naive and grows to like Mikey as a person. She doesn’t realize that almost everything he tells her about himself is a lie other than the fact that he was actually a porn star. It gets frustrating to watch the movie as these two characters forge a relationship based on lies. The beauty of the film is how we feel about the two characters. We feel bad for Rex’s character who is so desperate he will do anything to get what he wants, but we feel more for Strawberry who sinks deeper the more time she spends with Mikey.

Unfortunately, Baker takes the film too far towards the end when Mikey is involved in a serious incident with a neighbor (Ethan Darbone). The ultimate results of this accident simply ring false. The major issue is the decision the neighbor in the picture makes which is totally unbelievable and rips major credibility to the plot.

Another problem with the film is that the image desperately misses a confrontation scene between the characters of Rex and Son where the cards are put on the table. Instead, Baker lets the audience come to their own conclusions about their relationship.

That said, the film creates a very compelling basic premise. You might wonder about twenty minutes into the movie how the filmmakers are going to make that idea stretch to a movie over two hours, but by the time the movie hits sixty minutes you don’t want that he finishes. It’s because of Rex and Son’s turns carrying the weight of this film on their shoulders. Rex is believable and forceful as a liar who manipulates his wife and mother for a place to live while he tries to start a new, better life for himself. Son is perhaps an award-worthy nomination as an innocent girl who takes wild risks that land her in a dead-end relationship that will end up changing her life forever.

Another highlight of the film is the small role of Ms. Phan who runs the donut shop where Strawberry works. Played by Shih-Ching Tsou, there are a number of funny scenes where she comments on Mikey’s presence in the donut shop. Tsou steals a few scenes throughout the image with hilarious results.

red rocket is so frustrating to watch at times, but it keeps the viewer hooked for most of its running time. Not everything that happens between Strawberry and Mikey is depressing. There are real moments of connection between them. It’s just that the lies Mikey told snuffed out any hope of a real relationship developing. Or have they? You have to see the movie to see how you feel.

Baker’s new film is a self-assured, powerful and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny story. Elrod and Deiss do more than hold their own alongside Rex. Elrod has confrontational moments with Rex’s Mikey that are realistic and well portrayed. Despite its flaws, red rocket is a very good movie. It will make you question your own values ​​and decide for yourself just how despicable Mikey really is. I kind of liked that the movie let you come to your own conclusion, but I just wished that the confrontation scene between Mikey and Strawberry was there for better or for worse. But, you can’t have it all, I guess. Nonetheless, it’s a movie worth watching.

Evaluation: 8/ten

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