Elton John is the subject of the latest big screen rock biopic, and “Rocketman” succeeds because of strong storytelling that blends both a traditional take on a life story , while not being afraid of taking a few chances here and there that ultimately work.
Taron Egerton (Kingsman: Secret Service) stars as Elton John/Reggie Dwight, as we begin his journey with discovery of his musical genius as young child, growing up in a dysfunctional household with cruel parents. We get progression into his young adult years where he finds his identity on and off stage, and finally into the performer we know today.
This sounds like a recipe we’ve heard countless times before, but the story is interrupted with well produced musical numbers, full of impressive visuals that really brings the music in the film to life.
If you’re a fan of Elton John’s music, you’ll love it. I’m not a big fan, and was still entertained by how well the entire production was done.
Egerton was mentored by the real life Elton John for the role and he crushes it, successfully making us care for the character both through his good times and bad. Bryce Dallas Howard gives one of the best performances of her career playing the performer’s cold and critical mother, and Jamie Bell (Snowpiercer) and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) round out the cast nicely.
“Rocketman” does occasionally fall into the rock star movie cliches, spending a little too much time on the 70s party scene dominated by sex and drugs, but it’s not enough to drag the movie down for long.
Dexter Fletcher’s film goes out of it’s way to be something different and it ultimately works out pretty well. “Rocketman” is a good time and another successful attempt (joining last year’s slightly better “Bohemian Rhapsody) to bring an epic music career to the big screen.
Running time: 121 minutes