Rocketman ★★★

In the most recent example of putting too many eggs in one basket, Dexter Fletcher's Rocketman attempts to mix two different beasts. One is the oft-neglected rock and roll musical. The other is the beat-for-beat, sometimes maudlin, and often verbalized morality lesson in the body of a biopic. The former is quite dazzling at times as it dallies with—but doesn't totally commit to—bombast at every corner. The latter perpetuates the myth that a true crowd-pleasure has to turn down the volume in order to achieve the desired effect.

That isn't to say that the inevitable Elton John biopic is bad. It'd be something of a task to make a movie like Rocketman a wash, and in spite of its troublesome first half, it shows itself as the rare movie that gets better as it goes along. It just isn't enough to redeem a narrative that's at once overstuffed and tries nothing new, relying on a winning performance from Taron Egerton to deepen its surface-level flourishes.

Full review on FilmMonthly.