This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
James Ring’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This is one of those films that I've always seen somewhere, but never actually watched. It was a financial failure when it came out, but has a bit of a cult following. Taking place in 1938 we follow a pilot named Cliff (Billy Campbell) who along with his crew chief Peevy (Alan Arkin) discover a jetpack hidden away after some thugs are thwarted by the FBI. One of the thugs hides the jetpack in the wreckage of Cliff's plane thinking they'd come back to get it. Well Cliff grabs it and he and Peevy test it out and make some modifications. Cliff sees this as a way to bring about some revenue while they try and rebuild their own plane (which was destroyed by the mayhem caused by the thugs and FBI). Well turns out that jetpack was made by Howard Hughes (Terry O'Quinn) and the FBI and he are looking for it as it's a Nazi designed technology that they couldn't quite perfect. On top of all this the actor Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) is actually a Nazi spy and is the one that had hired the thugs (members of Eddie Valentine's (Paul Sorvino) gang) to find the jetpack, so that he can bring it back to Germany where the Nazis will use the technology to spread their tyranny everywhere. Soon enough it's up to Cliff to stop Neville and realize the potential that the jetpack has. The film also stars Jennifer Connelly as Jenny a young actress dating Cliff that falls into Neville's scheme. I will say the movie worked for me for the most part. Yes some of the green screen effects are very dated and noticeable, but this was made in 1991 I can't get too mad at that. I enjoyed the lead Billy Campbell, but he's not very memorable. Maybe if the planned sequels would have been made his character could have developed more, but I needed something a bit more here. He's basically a dude with a jetpack. Does that make someone a super hero? I'm not sure, but if anyone had actually shot this dude he was not gonna be deflecting anything. It's based on a comic book that places it from the 1930's-1950's and in the spirit of the time it has that kind of pulpy feel to it. I enjoyed this as well. Jennifer Connelly doesn't have much to do here and I felt like a lot of her scenes were added to just have a damsel in distress. Regardless, I'm glad to have finally caught this one on Disney+ and recommend if you have never seen this one (like I was) give it a look!