"Rocketman" Blasts Off, But Never Quite Reaches The Stratosphere

"Rocketman" Blasts Off, But Never Quite Reaches The Stratosphere

9 out of 12

After feeling luke-warm about 2018’s take on the life of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, I entered Rocketman ready for a film that aimed for the stars. While the aim might have been accurate, the power in this film spudders.

Rocketman is a showtunes-ish journey through the troubled early years of Elton John’s rise to stardom. The film, however, puts a major focus on the internal conflicts that motivated many of Elton’s most self-destructive decisions along the way.

At the forefront of the production is Taron Egerton, who you might be familiar with in films like Eddie the Eagle, the newest Robin Hood, and Kingsman, with a sequel featuring a flashy cameo from the real Elton John as himself. In Rocketman, Egerton owns this role, pulling off Elton’s mannerisms, the narrative’s emotional highs and lows, and the film’s musical numbers with incredible flare. Jamie Bell, playing Elton’s lyricist and best friend, also does a stellar job in his supporting role.

The problem I had with this musical biopic, however, was the music. For me, some of the most powerful moments are utilized for very passive purposes. Pulling momentum from the music too early in a sequence is an active practice with Rocketman, further endorsing the narrative’s already rushed-feeling pace.

Despite its flaws, Rocketman is an honorable tribute to a musical legend. It’s an ambitious project, and though there are ways it could've been better or more impactful, you can't help but admire the effort.

 Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 1 | Story and Message - 2 | Entertainment Value - 2 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 1 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?

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