Rocketman is a film starring Taron Egerton, playing Sir Elton John, in a biopic about his life. A biopic, however, is not quite what this feels like. Egerton does a phenomenal job, but that doesn’t stop this film from being a musical ego project.
I feel deeply that this film has been misrepresented in its advertising. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know how I feel about movie musicals. You also know that I have spoken, at length, about how polarizing movie musicals can be to film audiences. That’s why I don’t think it was an accident that the film has been advertised a certain way. Going into this, I did not expect to get a musical. I expected a drama with practical music coming from the stage performances. Instead, we got those stage performances, but laced in with music that everyone was singing, and big dance numbers. I felt like the film didn’t quite know what it wanted to be.
The entire film is told in flashback. Flashback is just lazy script writing. And, the fact that the big triumphant moment in the film is where the film begins, means that after the buildup, it really doesn’t pack the punch that it should have.
As stated before, Taron Egerton does a phenomenal job. He really did embody Elton John, while also making him his own. It’s some of the best acting I have seen in a while. Some of the worst acting I have seen, though, is Bryce Dallas Howard playing Elton’s mother, Sheila. I was painfully aware the entire film that it was Bryce Dallas Howard doing an English accent. I never once believed that she was that character.
The film looked beautiful through the lens of the camera and through the costuming. If anybody should win awards for this film it should be Taron Egerton (obviously), George Richmond for cinematography, and Julian Day for costume design. Without those three, I don’t know what would become of this film.
All in all, I’m not displeased with the film, but I’m not pleased with it, either. I felt that it was underwhelming for what I was expecting based on the marketing. Had this film been marketed as a musical from the start, then I probably would have felt a different way about it. I do hope this film does well, because Egerton’s performance needs to be seen. But, it’s not a film I will be rewatching anytime soon.