Rocketman movie review: A Biopic We All Need, Want, and Deserve

Review by Dan Berry and Alanah C.

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Title: Rocketman
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard Runtime: 2 hr 1 min

What It Is:  A musical biographical movie based on the life of Elton John (as played by Egerton) The movie delves into the early days of the future multiple award winning singer and his partnership with Bernie Taupin (portrayed by Bell). The movie was directed by Dexter Fletcher who took over the production of Bohemian Rhapsody when Bryan Singer left the movie.

What Dan Thought: If you went into this movie thinking it would be like Bohemian Rhapsody, and you wanted a movie in the same style, you will be sadly disappointed. This movie is more of a musical that is based on Elton John’s life and is set as multiple flashbacks from his early years, to later in his career.

The cast was well chosen for this movie, as even the bit roles could sing well. Taron nailed the role as Elton perfectly, and his supporting cast including Bell, Madden, and Howard were terrific.

When awards season comes up for 2020, I will be shocked if this movie doesn’t get a few nominations including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Costume (for Elton’s extravagant outfits).

The soundtrack delves into many of Elton’s hits and the scenes in which they are used was perfect. Fletcher did a great job directing the movie from Lee Hall’s script.

What Alanah Thought: A gay fantasia framed by an AA Meeting isn’t what I would have expected from this biopic, but I can’t imagine a better way to have gotten this tremendous and authentic telling of Elton John’s storied and profoundly sad life. Taron Egerton stars in a true musical full of skilled singers, dancers, and actors that deliver every line, move, and note with class and sincerity. It’s astonishing that we’re not even half-way through the year, yet Egerton has most certainly already earned the Oscar for his intensely moving work in this role. Just give him the statue now.

Rocketman focuses intently on the darker and sadder events that formed Elton’s young life, but also tell a tale of endurance and hope. John’s journey to sobriety is one full of difficulty (and please prepare yourself to Feel Feelings during this film, keep your tissues handy) and pain, but the fact that he has survived and ultimately thrived in spite of it all is a thrilling beacon of hope for anyone who has suffered similarly. Though his is a sad story, it does have a happy ending.

The only odd spot this film suffers from is its mildly awkward ending, which photoshops Egerton into the actual footage from John’s 1983 music video for I’m Still Standing. Despite the silly choreography and freeze-frame ending, the overall picture remains a triumph, and it would be wise for anyone who has ever hummed along with an Elton song to see it at soon as possible.

Dan’s Grade:  A. While the year isn’t quite half over, this movie is probably one of the best ones I’ve seen so far.

Alanah’s Grade: A. The movie had superb execution from start to end, and was profoundly moving.

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