The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)-Timothy Dalton Double Feature-Brenda Starr (1992) & The Rocketeer (1991)

If they are lucky enough, a performer will have a live long career. But that does not mean that every project will be a success.

Over years, Timothy Dalton has played many roles. In the early 90’s, he played two very different roles.

Brenda Starr (1992), based on the comic strip of the same name,  stars Brooke Shields in the lead role. Mike (Tony Peck) is comic book artist who draws the Brenda Starr cartoon for the local newspapers.  Inside the comic, Brenda is feeling unappreciated by her creator and leaves the strip. To keep his job, Mike goes into the comic strip to get Brenda back. He follows Brenda in her job as Ace Reporter for the New York Flash. Mike also meets Basil St. John (Timothy Dalton), Brenda’s on again/off again boyfriend.

Were the critics and audiences wrong? Not quite, but they were onto something. The movie is a little hokey, but it has a comic book sensibility. It is colorful, over the top and not even close to reality.  But that is why we read comic books.

A year earlier, he starred as the villain in The Rocketeer. In the 1930’s Hollywood, nice guy Cliff (Billy Campbell) stumbles upon a rocket pack. Putting on a mask, he becomes The Rocketeer. Adding to the equation is the villain Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton), the love interest Jenny (Jennifer Connelly), Nazis, gangsters and the roots of the Aviation industry as we know it today.

This movie harkens back to a simpler time with simpler plots and characters. Were the critics wrong? Not entirely.But we have to consider the era that the movie is set in and the origin of the plot. Compared to today’s  superhero movies, this movie looks rather simple. But it’s not a bad movie.

I recommend both, but if I had to choose one, it would be The Rocketeer over Brenda Starr.


The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)-Beautician And The Beast (1997)

There are only so many story ideas. It can appear to be easy to combine two different stories and hope that the mingling of  these two distinct stories will work well together. But appearances are sometimes deceiving.

Taking a break from her television role, Fran Drescher starred with Timothy Dalton in 1997’s Beautician And The Beast.

Combining Beauty And The Beast and The King and I, Joy Miller (Drescher) is a New York City Cosmetologist who is thought to be a teacher. She is hired to teach the children of Boris Pochenko (Dalton), the dictator of an Eastern European country.  Her way of educating her students soon reach the ears of not just their father, but the whole country.

The reality of this movie is that Fran Drescher did not step too far from the shadow of Fran Fine when she agreed to play Joy Miller.  Timothy Dalton is an incredible actor who happens to be also incredibly easy on the eyes, but the man who played James Bond, Heathcliff and Edward Rochester is not the man who is on screen for this movie. In short, he is wasted as an actor.

Were the critics wrong? No.


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