Rocketman evaluate: Elton John biopic is a trendy musical journey – CNET

Taron Egerton takes off as Elton John in Rocketman.

David Appleby/Paramount Photos

Sizzling on the heels of Bohemian Rhapsody‘s field workplace and Oscars success comes one other musical biopic filled with chart-topping hits: Rocketman, diving into the lifetime of flamboyant rock legend Elton John. 

This Dexter Fletcher-directed flick — which took almost twenty years to develop — shortly establishes itself much less as a biopic than a musical filtered by Elton’s recollections of his very beige suburban London childhood, contrasted with an increase to fame marked by spectacular outfits and cocaine-fueled events.

Rocketman is out now within the UK. The discharge date in Australia is Could 30, and the US is Could 31.

Taron Egerton, whom you would possibly know because the star of the hyper-violent Kingsman films, will not go breaking your coronary heart together with his close to excellent mirroring of Elton’s voice — you will neglect you are not listening to the legendary musician himself as a continuous hit parade punctuates the drama. Past the enduring sequined jackets and high-heeled boots, he is acquired the mannerisms down and ages realistically because of some distinctive make-up.


Elton’s relations performs an enormous half, however aren’t well-developed characters. 

David Appleby/Paramount Photos

Every tune — from Saturday Night time’s Alright (for Combating) to I am Nonetheless Standing — is offered in a visually distinct manner, with some kicking in unexpectedly. It is an distinctive musical set of best hits that’ll seize even informal followers, with excellent recent mixes from music director Giles Martin (the son of Beatles producer George Martin).

There are many musical montages as Elton transitions between main life occasions, and they might get repetitive in the event that they weren’t so pleasant to observe. They’re loud and colourful, with the dynamic camerawork injecting one other layer of pleasure and pleasure.

Amid these thrilling musical moments, the film traces the journey of musical prodigy Reggie Dwight (performed fantastically by Matthew Illesley and Package Connor earlier than Dwight ages into Egerton) struggling beneath his strict dad and mom (Bryce Dallas Howard and Steven Waterproof coat). The pair is a bit one-note of their merciless dismissiveness of their son’s emotional wants, however they’re properly offset by doting grandmother (Gemma Jones) as they drive younger Reggie to develop into Elton John.


Jamie Bell’s Bernie Taupin grounds this biopic.

David Appleby/Paramount Photos

Elton’s sturdy relationship with songwriting accomplice Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) turns into the center of the film. Collectively, Egerton and Bell do a lot of the film’s emotional heavy lifting — there’s actual heat as their friendship survives the excesses and stresses fame thrusts upon them.

Nearly as highly effective is Egerton’s reference to supervisor John Reid (performed with shark-like guile by Sport of Thrones and Bodyguard star Richard Madden). Their first encounters are electrical, with the formidable Reid lifting Elton’s spirits in a second of doubt and loneliness, and in the end turning into the closest factor the film has to a villain.

It is also noteworthy that that is the second time Reid’s been portrayed by a Sport of Thrones alumnus, laborious on the heels of Aidan Gillen’s flip in Bohemian Rhapsody. Maybe he’ll be performed by Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) in a Michael Flatley biopic sometime?


There are many fabulous outfits on show.

Gavin Bond/Paramount Photos

Rocketman sticks carefully to the standard music biopic formulation, leaving us with a way Elton had a reasonably clean rise from humble beginnings to fame and fortune. Actually, he used medicine and alcohol to numb inescapable emotional ache, then pushed everybody away within the film’s darkest hour.

This movie does not dive into these challenges sufficient for them to really feel significant — it rushes by the dangerous instances, with musical punctuation including levity and flamboyance. One lengthy phase with out music finally ends up feeling heavy as a result of we have been conditioned to count on the jukebox to maintain enjoying, and the recurring picture of Elton wanting within the mirror as he faces his interior demons is overused.

Ultimately, nevertheless, Rocketman hints at how Elton John finally ends up nonetheless standing. It is a story of a real survivor, with moments that’ll depart you feeling like somewhat child.

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