Rocket Science (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner27/09/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Enjoyably offbeat comedy drama with likeable characters and a terrific script, though its relentlessly unconventional nature is ultimately frustrating.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz (who made the award-winning spelling bee documentary, Spellbound), Rocket Science stars Reece Daniel Thompson as stuttering teenager Hal Hefner, whose crippling speech impediment wreaks havoc with both his school life and his home life. When gorgeous brainiac Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick) asks Hal to be her partner in the ultra-competitive school debate team, Hal is instantly smitten and he strives to achieve the potential that Ginny says she sees in him, unaware that her own intentions lie elsewhere.

The Good
Thompson is terrific as Hal and he really makes you feel the agony of not being able to get your words out. Kendrick is equally good as the fiercely intelligent, motor-mouthed object of his affections and there's strong support from Vincent Piazza (as Hal's kleptomaniacal brother) and especially from Nicholas D'Agosto as Ginny's former partner, debating legend drop-out Ben Wekselbaum.

Words are clearly of great importance to Blitz and his superb script crackles with excellent dialogue, delivered in brilliantly deadpan fashion by a terrific supporting cast. It's also interesting that so many of the characters use words as weapons, whether it's Hal's mother throwing out his father by shouting, Ginny bombarding Hal with rapid-fire speeches or his brother insulting him by continually calling him by different girl's names.

The Bad
It seems churlish to complain about a film that deliberately subverts expectations and kicks against the usual cliches, but it's also fair to say that Rocket Science sabotages a particularly brilliant set up towards the end of the film, leaving us initially frustrated rather than uplifted.

Worth seeing?
In short, Rocket Science is an enjoyable comedy drama with superb performances and a terrific script and its avoidance of clichés is commendable if not entirely successful. Great soundtrack too. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Rocket Science (15)
Rocket Science has been reviewed by 1 users
01 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (tbc)

Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, ...

02 The Theory of Everything (tbc)

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson

03 Pride (15)

Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Sta...

04 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, Anne...

05 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

Content updated: 02/09/2014 17:38

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Night Moves Film Review

Engaging and provocative, this is a fiercely introspective thriller from writer-director Kelly Reichardt, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.