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Rocketman (2019) Review

Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.

“There are moments in a rock star’s life that define who he is. Where there is darkness, there is now you, and it’s going to be a wild ride”

Release Date: May 31st, 2019

Length: 2H 1M

Genre: Biography, Drama, Music, Musical

MPAA: 14A (Canada)

Elton John is pretty much a household name. You’ve heard one or many of his songs multiple times in your life and probably didn’t even know it was him. His songs have touched the hearts of millions. So when I heard that the director who took over directing Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) signed on to make a biopic about Elton John, I was automatically sold on the idea. The first trailer I saw, cemented it in my mind that I needed to see this movie on a big screen with great sound. Lets dive into Rocketman.

Rocketman is a biography, Drama, Musical and fantasy film about Elton John from his beginnings to a turning point in his life.

Rocketman is directed by Dexter Fletcher. His filmography consists of Eddie The Eagle (2015), and Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) {He took over after Bryan Singer was fired from the set and he finished the film}. If you want to do a musical biopic right, I think the best route of action is to hire Dexter Fletcher. Although I don’t know exactly what scenes were his in Bohemian Rhapsody, I enjoyed that film as a whole. It wasn’t perfect, but it had extremely strong performances. Rocketman to me was extremely entertaining and I felt like it was Fletcher’s directing and experience from finishing Bohemian Rhapsody that he was really able to make this film in his vision.

Rocketman was written by Lee Hall. His filmography consists of Billy Elliot (2000). I really liked the script in this movie, I was laughing one minute and just enthralled and glued to the screen the next. I also liked not knowing much about Elton John before seeing this movie, I knew his music, but I really didn’t know about his life at all. I felt like how this movie was told allowed me to see a “fun” way to see his life (I put fun in quotations because this movie was fun but his life, as I saw in this movie was not easy and was not fun).

Rocketman stars Taron Egarton as Elton John, Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John Reid, Bryce Dallas Howard as Shelia.

Taron Egerton’s filmography consists of Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), Eddie The Eagle (2015), Sing (2016), and Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017). I thought Egerton was a good actor before, I enjoyed watching his films before. But holy crap, Egerton easily, singlehandedly has THE BEST performance I have seen in a movie so far this year. I forgot I was watching a movie watching him portray Elton John, I thought I was watching a vignette of different performances. I thought Egarton absolutely nailed this role and it was genuinely great to hear him do all of his own singing in this movie. I feel like him singing the songs of Elton John really elevated this movie to the next level. It’ll be hard to top this performance this year for me.

Jamie Bell’s filmography consists of Billy Elliot (2000), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), and Man On A Ledge (2012). I don’t remember Bell in these other films, but he was outstanding in Billy Elliot (2000). I haven’t seen that movie in a really really long time, but I remember his performance and it was just wonderful. Bell was really excellent in Rocketman, and I felt like he had really good chemistry with Egarton. I felt like they were life-long friends in this movie and considering the relationship that Elton has with Bernie in real life, this relationship I felt these two actors had in the movie really amplified the movie to the next level.

Richard Madden’s filmography consists of Bodyguard {TV Series} (2018). I am not too familiar with Madden’s work, but he was down right NASTY in this movie. But he played the role so well. He plays a really good bad guy; vile and mean.

Bryce Dallas Howard’s filmography consists of How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Village (2004), Spider-Man 3 (2007), Hereafter (2010), 50/50 (2011), Jurassic World (2015), and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). I always liked Bryce Dallas Howard, but I really enjoy her more serious roles. 50/50 I thought she did a really excellent job, but Rocketman was a whole different story. She played Elton’s mother, and she was just this awful woman, but she played it so well.

The acting in this movie is definitely a standout of the movie, especially the performance that Egarton gave; its worth it just to see his acting alone, especially considering that this is a completely different role for him.

The soundtrack to this movie was so good too, as is to be expected considering the music that Elton John has written. But it was refreshing to actually hear the actor sing the music and not have it be a lip-sync recording. It added a bunch of nuance to the movie. You weren’t hearing Elton John singing Elton John, you were hearing Taron Egarton singing Elton John and the musical accompaniment was different, so it felt almost brand new.

Overall, Rocketman floored me as a movie fan. I was enthralled for the whole two hours. My foot was tapping in the movie theatre which doesn’t happen usually in films, and overall I was just blown away.

My favourite part of this movie is that it was more fantasy than biopic, but it was still a biopic. They used the music that Elton John wrote to highlight parts of his life, and were able to use those songs effectively to show what was going on in his life at the time. The songs told the story and the story told the songs. It was just lovely.

If you like music, Elton John, damn good biopics, you owe it to yourself to see Rocketman, on the big screen with surround sound.

I give Rocketman a 5/5.

**I will also echo what I have heard online as well, This is absolutely the first notable, Oscar worthy performance I have seen this year, and I absolutely hope Egarton gets nominated and hopefully wins.**

Until Next Time!


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