“Real love’s hard to come by. So you find a way to cope without it.”
For someone like Elton John, one of the most famous musical artists in the world with over 300 million albums sold, you would have thought the writers of Rocketman would have put a little more effort into drafting a decent script.
From what I’ve noticed online, reviews for Rocketman are relatively high…exceptionally high considering I thought it was a massive dumpster fire disguised in sequins and glitter. Maybe I should have done my homework and read that this movie is actually somewhat of a musical…not a movie with music. Or maybe I should have seen this before last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I’m not sure what would have made this experience better, but I did something wrong here, or maybe they did.
Tumblr is literally screaming for us to not compare Rocketman to Bohemian Rhapsody, but how can you not?
“In common with most recovery stories, Rocketman boils down to a fat lump of self-pity, but the music does leaven things. It will inevitably be compared to last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody, in part because they share an antagonist (music manager John Reid, played by Lord Baelish in BR and Rob Stark here), in part because Rocketman’s director, Dexter Fletcher, took over (sans credit) on BR when Bryan Singer was bounced for myriad allegations of sexual assault. But BR confined its numbers to performance sequences, while Rocketman has Elton and others break the fourth wall and burst into song — making this both a performance film and a “jukebox musical” along the lines of Jersey Boys and dozens of lesser works that fail to shape a dramatic arc from assemblages of disparate hits.” via Vulture
Taron Egerton (Kingsman), for lack of better words, dazzles as Elton John. Not only did he look the part, but he breathed every lyric as fluidly as Elton would have wanted. But Egerton carries a a very messy script on his back, and I don’t think he can fully support it’s cliche nonsense, although he valiantly tries.
The “jukebox musical” direction didn’t vibe with me at all either, and I completely understand it as a major gripe. It felt cheesy and forced, and don’t even get me started with young Elton creeping on older Elton. Did things need to be so literal? And let’s not bypass the glaring inaccuracies in the movie, but I’m not going to write about that, because apparently there’s a lot.
Something I can be positive about are the elaborate costumes in the movie. The soundtrack is also undoubtedly fun to bop around to; apparently Elton gave soundtrack producer Giles Martin carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. So that’s cool I guess.
Catch this one when it comes to Netflix, and save your time in theaters. With such a high amount of free-range, I would have hoped for something bigger and better.