✰✰✰½ (out of five)
Synopsis: A washed-up porn star clashes with his estranged wife after returning to his hometown in Texas.
Review: Is Red Rocket funny? Yes. Sometimes, extremely. But did I love it? Not really. Simon Rex's Mikey Saber just is a slimy worm of a human. Is that the point? Perhaps. This film does take place in a very red section of Texas during the Presidential election. Mikey appears to be a representation of a person born and raised from the Lone Star state, so the use of him as an adult film performer is inconsequential. Regardless, I found him to not be redeemable. The story, without giving too much away, is one of redemption with a main caveat: Mikey is out to serve himself first. I get the sly subtext of his personality and psyche and its mirroring of certain aspects of conservative, blue collar America. And Rex is dynamic in the role. Known for his comedic work in the Scary Movie franchise, Rex shows fine dramatic chops with the comic timing, thanks to director Sean Baker's somewhat genius casting. Plus, I've come to learn that Rex has some background in adult entertainment, so bringing that to the table more than likely helped. But how much is indeterminate. I couldn't invest into the story that much no matter how funny. It ahs a vibe of satire or parody while trying to also be serious with a statement. Fine line to walk that works very well in other films; I just don't buy it here. Thankfully, Rex's work keeps you into it through the end.