Thumbs up or Thumbs Down? Short, Simple and Spoiler Free movie reviews.
Rocketman is an epic musical fantasy biopic that focuses on Elton John’s childhood, break through years and successes. We see his ‘uncensored’ struggles with alcohol and drug abuse which he uses as a crutch to replace the love and affection he misses during his rise to international superstardom.
Musical biopics are all the rage it seems and after the success of Bohemian Rhapsody I imagine interest in this film will be very high. Luckily, it’s also very good. Unlike the Queen movie however, which is a straight forward story with lots of stage performances and montages showing the band’s rise, Rocketman has more of a creative license. It’s almost put together as a stage performance of a musical. You don’t just get the live act you also have characters singing songs and Elton interacting with the child version of himself and imagining scenarios.
One of my favourite things about this movie in fact is the visuals that come with the musical fantasy aspect. Obviously you have the scenes of Elton rocking it on stage which are impressive but there’s a lot of scenes involving great choreography and dancing. There’s one in particular in which they transition him from recovering from a drug overdose to being back on stage the next night.
Taron Egerton is a perfect blend of charisma, optimisation, energy, naivety and ultimately depression in the role of Elton John. He 100% nails this role. While Richard Madden is great as his despicable and manipulative former lover/manager John Reid. Elton’s mother Sheila is played by Bryce Dallas Howard and it’s heartbreaking to see their icy relationship. Meanwhile Jamie Bell brings a warmer tone with his supporting role as long time lyricist and writing partner Bernie Taupin.
I’m also refusing to ruin the credibility of this film in my mind by researching more into it. I’m not an Elton super fan and I don’t know his entire story but I made that mistake after watching Bohemian Rhapsody and discovered that 50% of the plot was nonsense. So I’m taking this one at face value in order to solely enjoy it as a cinematic experience.
With that in mind, Rocketman is brilliant.