Film Review by Steve Duffy –
Rocketman has Oscar written all over it!
ROCKETMAN is an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John. This inspirational story – set to Elton John’s most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton – tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture.
What worked so well with this film is that Elton authorized it and his fingerprints are all over it. He did not want his story watered down and he invites you into his life from the age of six until he enters rehab in his early 40’s showing you all the bumps and bruises along the way.
Egerton does a marvelous job of bringing to life the flamboyant singer in the glitter and craziness that was his life.
The onscreen chemistry that Egerton has with Jamie Bell, who plays songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, is both raw and real and make you believe in true friendship.
Outstanding performances belong to Bryce Dallas Howard as his cold and loveless mother and Richard Madden who plays John Reid his manager and lover.
A group therapy session is used as the medium to whisk us back and forth in time and is done with ease with no interruption of the storyline.
It’s very clear from the beginning that the songs from Elton’s catalogue are front and center. The musical numbers are big and bold while nicely packaging the storyline within it.
Rocketman is a whimsical, and at times, a heart-breaking rollercoaster ride that will have you cheering, crying, and tapping your toes all at the same time.
Rating: R for language throughout, some drug use and sexual content
Runtime: 121 minutes