It’s not really a spoiler if you’re writing about a film based on a true story, is it? I mean it wouldn’t have been a spoiler to tell people who when to see Bohemian Rhapsody that Freddie dies right? With that in mind, let’s talk about Rocketman.
I was in no way excited about Rocketman, mostly because I have never been an Elton John fan, and also because I was worried that Taron Egerton wouldn’t be able to break out of his role as a Kingsman. I still can’t tell you if he looked like Elton, but that didn’t matter because the way the story was told was from the beginning, we meet Elton as a boy and he morphs into Taron Egerton during his teen years and as such he IS Elton John.
A big difference between Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, is that Rocketman is a musical that often lapses into flights of fancy rather than a straight out dramatic biography. Both films, however, find their highest points when the music takes over. And I have to admit to being a bit of a closet Elton fan, at least his popular stuff it seems.
It’s easy to cheer for Elton after seeing him struggle through life, only to see him literally soar as he kills the man he was born and transcends into the man he was meant to be.
Towards the later stages of the first half of the film, Rocketman really shines and possibly eclipses Bohemian, but then in much the same way that Freddie’s life took a massive dive, so does Elton, and the second act is a bloody depressing act and brings the whole film down, ending. much like Bohemian, with a few typed statements on screen as to what happened next.
Unlike Bohemian, which had Queen’s best performance, Live Aid, to go out on, Rockenman wallows in its own depressive state, relying on a few small sentences to inform us that we should be happy that Elton’s life turned out ok.
It’s a pity, as Rocketman could have done with a rousing performance at the end to bring everyone back up and leave the cinema in a positive mood.
Despite this, the magical trip that encapsulates the first half of the film is worth going to see, for both the fans of the music and those of us living in the closet.
Rating: M Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. NOTE: Sex scenes, offensive language & drug use.