Tangerine and The Florida Project director Sean Baker returns with another comedy-drama set in the underbelly of contemporary American life.
Mikey Davies left Texas City, a small coastal town, on leaving high school. Soon after, he changed his name to Mikey Saber and became a popular and award-winning adult entertainment actor. But now he’s back, broke, partially broken and desperate to turn his life around. But he has his ex to contend with and a community of people who remember him turning his back on his home. Redemption appears in the form of 17-year-old Raylee (Suzanna Son), who feels the same desperation to break away that Mikey once did. But will her journey be any more successful than his and what responsibility does he hold in encouraging Raylee to make the first step?
Mikey is played by former porn actor, MTV VJ and model Simon Rex, who brings the same level of intensity to the role that Adam Sandler brought to his manic performance in Uncut Gems. But the tone of Red Rocket film is less frenetic than the Safdie brothers’ Manhattan-set thriller. It evinces the same easy-going nature as Baker’s previous films. Like Tangerine and The Florida Project, it is less interested in easy moral judgments than in exploring the way commodification has impacted every corner of American life. Frequently funny and offbeat in the way the best portraits of small-town life are, Red Rocket is, ultimately, an affecting character study.