Rocketman ★★★

"You gotta kill the person you were born to be in order to become the person you wanna be."

After taking over directorial duties for 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' Dexter Fletcher returns yet again for his own, solo biopic, chronicling the childhood, unrestrained addiction and unbelievable success throughout the life of the legendary Elton John, playing out in a much more magical and fantastical way; it's way more of a musical experience, filled with dance numbers, rather than the more grounded, story-driven and raw essence that his prior feature contained (whether that's due to the differences in scripts or the work that Bryan Singer had already completed is up for debate). There is still a bizarre and almost surreal authenticity to the proceedings still, though - the binging on drugs and drinks, the rampant sex; even the bizarre orgy-like sequence following 'Bennie and the Jets' is brilliant, a real melding of bodies and lights. It feels like it could use a bit of tweaking in some instances - I really wish some of my favorite songs were tackled by Egerton instead of the younger actors portraying Elton, and perhaps it's the similarities in lifestyles but I do feel the pacing and events hew a bit too close to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - but it's still a delight to witness.

Taron Egerton is fantastic in the role, heavily bringing on the complex emotions and utter, lasting heartbreak that Elton experienced throughout the years, and his talent on the piano and utilizing his own vocals for the performance really helps him bring Elton to life in his own, special way. His transition from an innocent, budding child with extraordinary dreams to a burned out, drug-and-alcohol crazed superstar is wondrous and very well executed. The music as a whole is well captured, and maybe I'm torn in the balancing of it because I did appreciate Egerton actually singing Elton's music, but I do wish we had gotten his actual voice throughout somehow, too, as his original songs feel much better developed; that's not a knock on Egerton's talents, but I just don't think you can beat the power of Elton's voice when it comes to his own tunes. I may not have enjoyed this one nearly as much as 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' but it's still a special experience and a really touching and respectful adaptation of the man himself and his illustrious career.

Creasy007 liked these reviews