To quote the urban dictionary definition of a “leech”, Mikey Saber is a leech — “someone who calls themselves a friend but they only use you until someone better comes along” — too focus deep into the stimulating career of his past, the one though that f**ked him into the place he resides currently like how he tends to f**k any independent mind in proximity to him. But then, there’s also the literal Oxford definition to consider as well if not to an even greater, more coincidental extent when describing Mikey: “an aquatic or terrestrial annelid worm with suckers at both ends. Many species are bloodsucking parasites, especially of vertebrates, and others are predators.” Both types written in that definition, however, fall pretty comfortably under the guidelines of describing this… fascinating… individual. To sum it up neatly in the case of what Sean Baker’s latest picture is willing to show us, he is a middle-aged leech who seems to still celebrate the kind of victories and pr(a/e)y for the kind of things that prove the absence of a moral compass, fueling the presence of a living ticking time bomb.
In no better way of describing my unforgettable experience with Red Rocket, it was really like watching Animal Planet, pertaining though to witnessing an exclusive two-hour-long episode of it that dials in on a human leech in his natural yet temporary habitat, sure to return to and plumage from it time and time again nonetheless as he always has and ends up continuing to do even past the credits. Cringe, harrow, but laugh hysterically at one of mankind’s most dangerous and pathetic influencers living in just a small town of Texas who barely walks the fine line between legal and illegal actions. Comparative to the show in question, this imagined documentation becomes highly educational in a sense when observing the routine of a veteran leech, “someone” you don’t usually get the opportunity to witness on a screen with this large of a microscope underneath said subject’s wretched yet professional strategies.
Like the title suggests, Mikey is virtually all bodily pleasures, say for a little wit, but no heart. As reconcile, however, count in awe at how many resources he can slyly plumage from other people with his “nice guy” persona mask on before he backfires in either tragic or simply embarrassing predicaments. Yet, even in the apexes of our condemnation of Mikey Saber, he may just really be a worse case scenario of the self-entitled that we can sometimes let slip out, that toxic ego-driven ignorance towards virtue so long as it gets in the way of our path for success. If we can’t beat the selfish in us all, we might as well at least just sit back and holler at it in awareness. As far as I’m concerned, Red Rocket is Sean Baker’s best work thus far.
“Red Rocket” is now playing in select theaters.