Flashy, flamboyant and freaking incredible, “Rocketman” is the musical biopic worthy of Sir Elton Hercules John. “Rocketman” manages to distinguish itself from all the other musical biopics with an Oscar worthy performance, amazing dance sequences and a visual style of sheer fantasy.
“Rocketman” tells the story of Elton John, played by Taron Edgerton, and his childhood, rise to fame and all of the pressures and challenges his fame brings. Also displayed is his songwriting partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin, played by Jaime Bell, his relationship with his mother, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, and his acceptance of his homosexuality.
Edgerton delivers a charm to the role of Elton John and does it all; acting, singing and dancing. Rather than being a chameleon and transforming into John, Edgerton simply is John. Edgerton shows great respect for the rock star by balancing John’s flamboyant stage personality with his vulnerable private life. His singing is also impressive because of how he doesn’t lip sync John’s voice but instead creates his own style using John’s songs.
Bell creates a fantastic bromance as the lyricist of many of John’s greatest hits including “Rocketman,” “Tiny Dancer” and “I’m Still Standing.” Together, the pair create a fantastic partnership that rivals many of the great songwriting partnerships including Lennon-McCartney and Rodgers-Hammerstein. That partnership threatens to be destroyed by John Reid, played by Richard Madden, a music manager who leads John to a life of excess of alcohol and drugs. His demeanor is the sleaziness of the music industry and Madden creates a man viewers will love to hate.
The film’s musical numbers are mesmerizing with dancers and cast members singing and dancing to all of the hits of Elton John. However, these sequences aren’t just there to be pretty but instead move the story along. Seeing John grow up into an adult to “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” or his first American performance with “Crocodile Rock” is not only stunning to watch but also gives insight into John’s mind.
Visually, the film is stunning with a fantastic sense of wonder. John dancing with himself as a child, blasting off like a rocket or his many flamboyant costumes will stay in the mind of viewers for weeks to come.
“Rocketman” is referred to in the trailers for the film as a musical fantasy but after a viewing of the film, one wishes that everyone could levitate off the ground, do the Crocodile Rock and partake in the wondrous fantasy that is Elton John.