Back in December, the good folks at Palm Pictures sent me a review copy of The Rocket, the film covering the life and career of Maurice Richard. Unfortunately I was in the middle of moving into a new house at the time, and only recently got my whole TV/DVD/Speaker setup completely in place, so this review comes a bit late; I apologize for the delay, but if you've got any kind of movie collection and are a hockey fan, The Rocket is a must-have, plain and simple.
The on-ice action is, frankly, the best I've ever seen in a movie; superior even to that in Miracle. From the outdoor game near the beginning of the film, to the hallowed rinks of the Original Six era, the hockey action has enough detail and authenticity to suck in the hockey player, while maintaining enough clarity and spacing not to lose the casual viewer in a flurry of activity. There are a number of lesser and greater parts filled with NHL players such as Mike Ricci, Mathieu Dandenault, and Sean Avery (as what else? A goon...), but to the film's enduring credit they blend in seamlessly.
Some reviews I've seen online have complained that perhaps the dialogue is sparse at times and undercuts the overall storyline, which outlines the treatment of French-speaking Canadians during that era, and how Richard became an icon to his community for his triumphs on an Anglophone-dominated stage. There's a point to all this, however; when Richard speaks to the people of Montreal in a radio address near the end of the film, those words count all the more for having been so slow in coming.
So head on over to the film's website, and check out the trailer, some photos, and film clips. If you want to order the DVD (you probably won't find it in stores), there's a "Rocket Game" on the website that if you play, there's an offer afterward for 30% off. Enjoy...
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