Movie Review: Rocketman (2019)

Rocketman poster 🎵 Oh no no no, I’m a rocketman! 🎵

Stars: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard
Dexter Fletcher

Synopsis: A magical and musical look a the life of Elton John from tough childhood to breakout star….with all the glitz, glamour, drugs, alcohol and music in between.

Opinion: I guess I feel the need to start this off by saying, I have not seen Bohemian Rhapsody so I will not be comparing the two movies nor do I think they should be compared but I’m sure many people will so yeah if you’re here for that you won’t be getting it.
Rocketman honestly isn’t the sort of movie I would normally go out of my way to see. Yes, I’d seen the trailer and yes it had sparked my interest but unless a screening landed in my lap it was always going to be a “oh yeah, when it comes out on bluray or on a streaming service maybe”. So, I guess I’m lucky that a screening happened, and I was able to go because this more was way more enjoyable and fascinating than I had anticipated.

I, like pretty much everyone else in the world who is over a certain age and hasn’t been living under a rock, knows who Elton John is and the epic and amazing success he has had in his lifetime. While you may not be able to name an Elton John song (there were people in my office that couldn’t) I guarantee if most of them were played to you, you would know what they are. He is an icon; he is a superstar and he is a man of spectacular outlandish performances. So it’s very fitting that this film about the rise of Elton as a superstar (with all the drinks, drugs and mishaps that come along with it) is not just a standard biopic, it’s full of singing, dancing, costumes, fantasy, dream sequences and everything else in between. Yes, it’s a true story and a lot of the topics are really honest and show the hard life he had as a child and a young man which was hidden behind this sensational front. But it’s also a magical look behind the lyrics of some of his most famous songs and how they came to be.Rocketman 2

I actually learned quite a lot about Elton John from Rocketman and that’s saying something because I felt like I already knew a lot about him from various interviews, articles and other such things over the years. I guess in this movie it was a little more raw and real which I think was aided by the incredible performance by Taron Edgerton. Honestly that guy IS Elton John! He not only walks the walk and talks the talk but he does his own singing too and well I meant it’s not Elton but it’s pretty damn close. I’ve always thought Edgerton was good in the various movies I’ve seen, even if the movie itself was questionable, but this here is definitely the picture to show off how truly talented he is. And it’s not just him, the whole cast is great from Bryce Dallas Howard as his mother to Jamie Bell as Bernie. The performances are all so fantastic it really helps show the real life behind this musical spectacular.

And musical it is….I’m talking break into song and occasional dance in the middle of the scene kind of musical. So here is my final thought and it’s possibly a slightly controversial one. I do enjoy a musical and I completely understand how and why this film needed to be a musical, but I had no idea how much of a musical it was going to be when I went into watching it. Yes, I knew there was singing but I guess I just thought it would be like the concerts and performances and recording studios and such (there’s that too, don’t worry). So, when musical scenes happened, I enjoyed them but a big “wow what a risky move” thought went off in my head. This thought is because so many people lose interest as soon as they realise a movie is a musical. It’s quite sad really because music in no way lessens the quality of any film, but it happens, and I’m worried it will happen with this because it is a great film and I do think people should see it. I guess risky is in Elton John’s nature so maybe if this film wasn’t a musical and didn’t take risks it wouldn’t feel like it was really about him……I hope everyone else sees it that way because it’s really hard not to tap your foot along to the songs and be fascinated by the story and enjoy the film for the journey that it is.

Them Feels Though: No tissues needed; well I didn’t cry anyway. There were some quite deep and emotional moments, but I think the fact that it was so interesting distracted me from the tears that could have potentially come. Also as I mentioned above, it is a musical so be prepared to tap your toes, bob your head and mouth the words right along with the movie….you won’t be able to help yourself, trust me.


Rocketman rating

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