Higgins’s review published on Letterboxd:
Suffering from the post traumatic stress of having to live through Bohemian Rhapsody, I was understandably apprehensive about taking in another musical bio pic. Thankfully Rocketman cured me of my syndrome. Rocketman is not a perfect film but it could easily be the dictionary definition of how to make a successful musical bio pic. First of all, have your audience fall in love with the star they already know as the character on the screen. Check here. Secondly have them fall in love again with the music through the narrative not just because it’s the music. Again check. Lastly, most musical Bio pics have the same dramatic arc which is unknown artist finds success, trips into overindulgence, has a big fall and finds redemption. It’s a formula that has worked forever but can be tired if not done right. This is where your star, writing and directorial choices come in, all of which here are another check to the positive. Taron Egerton is every bit the actor that rami Malek was but deserves an award three times as much. He embodies Elton John without any gimmicks and makes the performance his own. The fact that this is a musical also elevated the film above the usual musical bio pic. It’s flights into fancy are perfectly timed and excellently executed.
If the film has a misstep, it’s in its adherence to the genre’s dramatic arc. It follows a very similar path but does check all the boxes with a flair that makes it better than most.
Thank you Rocketman for saving me from mentally reliving the abomination which was Bohemian Rhapsody. Thank you for being creative and enjoyable to watch. Thank you for letting me see Elton John in a new light. Mostly, thank you for being a really good movie.