By Heather Boerner,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
A so-so sophomoric space comedy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Fred is the equivalent of a 10-year-old boy in maturity level, farting openly, not taking responsibility, and not taking anything seriously. Fred also sacrifices and nearly gives his life for his colleagues.
Violence & Scariness
A lot of comic clumsiness that results in injuries: A man gets hit in the head with a toy and suffers a skull fracture. Fred careens out of control and hits a man in a wheelchair. Fred and Bill almost die when they run out of oxygen. Bill gets trapped under a space vehicle. The whole team almost dies when their spacecraft gets hit and starts to freefall to the Mars surface. Ulysees the chimp bites Fred and Fred waves him around, knocking him into things.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Fred and Julie dance and kiss once.
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Products & Purchases
A lot of Disney characters are mentioned in the film. Fred sings songs from The Wizard of Oz and Pinocchio. Fred wears a Mr. Peanut t-shirt.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Fred and Bill go to a bar, where Fred drinks lots of shots, gets drunk, and forces Julie to dance with him. Julie tells Bill, "Getting someone drunk like that is wrong."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fred and a number of other characters do pratfalls that look fun, but could be dangerous if kids attempt them, like running into someone who's injured, breaking a window, etc. The movie also contains some perilous scenes where the main characters nearly die in a space accident, making this movie a better fit for kids 7 and up. There is also some toilet humor.
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Based on 6 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
Fred Z. Randall (Harland Williams) is a man who has dreamed about space travel for as long as he can remember. Now 30 and still living at home with a mother who makes his sandwiches for him, Fred creates software programs for NASA simulations. When the most recent one he created for a mission to Mars seemingly malfunctions and the astronaut scheduled for the trip gets injured in Fred's office (the first of many injuries and pratfalls to come), Fred gets the chance of a lifetime: To train with and travel to the moon with legendary space cowboy "Wild Bill" Overbeck (William Sadler) and the beautiful biologist Julie Ford (Jessica Lundy).
Is It Any Good?
ROCKETMAN looks, from the DVD cover and the beginning of the story, like a warm-hearted, family movie -- but looks are deceiving. The more you watch, the more you get the sense that this isn't a Disney movie of the Son of Flubber or the classic Shaggy Dog caliber. Instead, it's just another sophomoric fantasy with a little toilet humor to round it out.
The premise should give you the first hint that this film is totally absurd. What's unfortunate is that it isn't absurd in the good, clean way that the original Nutty Professor was. Instead, it's tinged with the immaturity of American Pie and the toilet humor of Dumb and Dumber -- but it's not as good as either of those. Having eaten all the food on the ship, Fred serves his fellow astronauts microwaved toothpaste and hemorrhoid cream. He loses a prized medallion in the space toilet and goes after it. He passes gas in his space suit and it gets transmitted to his fellow astronaut. It's funny, sure -- and your 8-year-old will likely love it. But it's not great. And it's not the kind of movie you keep around for years to come.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why kids like seeing movies where adults act like kids. Do you think it's OK to really act the way Fred does at his job?
- In theaters: June 20, 1997
- On DVD or streaming: May 17, 2007
- Cast: Beau Bridges, Harland Williams, Jessica Lundy
- Director: Stuart Gillard
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: language, crude humor and thematic elements
- Last updated: December 10, 2022
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