The Rocket is a small-town story inspired by true events, about a high school football star who suffers a severe head injury and loses his entire life plan. The heaviness of a broken relationship with his father and losing the identity of “football star” push him to seek a new way to prove himself. Restricted from playing any sports and despite being an unlikely runner, the cross country coach brings the young man aboard his high school team out of necessity. Through much struggle, doubt, and determination, he finds a new way to push towards greatness.
With colorful characters, youthful insights, and nostalgic storytelling, The Rocket brings together the elements of family, loss, failure, and redemption. The entire story is based on real people and events that took place in the Midwest in 1999.
The Rocket is an uplifting story about life’s setbacks and how we channel them into strength and new meaning. After a serious concussion, young and prolific football player Josh (Brady Tutton) is barred from his sport, much to his father’s (Carl Ciske) disappointment. But with recognition and encouragement from his school’s cross country coach Keith (Richard Blake), Josh’s life journey is now aimed at the finish line. He learns about running and discipline from Keith and his new team, and he also has a fair amount to teach the team from his football experience. The ebb and flow of teaching and learning never ceases in the film.Thus is what makes the gears of The Rocket really turn: writer/director/actor Richard Blake demonstrates an eye for relationships—how they build upon each other but sometimes tear as down, too. Josh’s father, who borders on hyperbolic “strict father” tropes, is more than a training figure for Josh. He is someone Josh is trying to impress at all times. With Coach Keith’s help, Josh learns that the only person Josh needs to prove himself to is, in fact, himself. There’s a lot to learn, a lot to take away from The Rocket. It is spirited and all-around uplifting. It does, however, contain some strong language that younger viewers should be aware of. With adherence to some prayer and spiritual guidance in the film, Dove is proud to award the film with approval for Ages 12+.