Taron Egerton is a standout as Elton John in Rocketman (review)

Eltron John Taron Egerton Rocketman

Rocketman opens with a shot of Elton John in a colorful outfit, and it looks like he’s ready to give a performance of a lifetime as he walks towards the screen. He walks through the door, only to reveal that he’s about to sit down in a support group. This is an example of the film having fun with the material, and there are plenty of other scenes that will play with the imagination.

Biopics about musicians have been really popular recently with movies like Bohemian Rhapsody and Netflix’s The Dirt. This weekend audience will get to see Rocketman, a musical biopic about the life of Sir Elton John. Director Dexter Fletcher takes a crack at bringing the life of the legend to life, and he’s had some experiences in that realm since he did take over as the director of Bohemian Rhapsody. What we get is a grand performance by Taron Egerton as the legendary singer and a film that is magical and moving.

Rocketman follows Elton John from his time as a young child in a dysfunctional family to a pop star loved by millions. The film is like a mix of Across the Universe and Bohemian Rhapsody. Across the Universe is a musical film that uses songs from The Beatles to help advance the story. Rocketman mixes the genres by incorporating Elton John songs as elaborate musical numbers to flesh out the story and also reenactments of the singer’s real-life performances.

Elton John is larger than life, and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) is able to capture that persona with his acting and singing. The actor is a standout, and one can’t help but be mesmerized by his vocal skills. Fans of Egerton shouldn’t be surprised since he did perform live with Elton John to help promote the film and also performed an Eltron John song in the animated film, Sing. It’s like Egerton was meant to play John. To add icing on the cake, John did have a cameo in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Rocketman is a completely different beast than the Kingsman movies, and Egerton is able to shine with his charisma while also touching on the darker side of stardom.

The rest of the cast is solid. Bryce Dallas Howard is almost unrecognizable as John’s mother, and Jamie Bell plays his best friend and lyricist, Bernie Taupin. Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden is the sleazy manager, John Reid, who will be easily hated by audiences.

The musical numbers are enjoyable including young John having a fun night out singing “Saturday Night’s Alright” and an older John doing an emotional rendition of “Rocket Man.” A part of me did wish that there would be a performance of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King. It’s understandable though since Paramount and Disney are competing studios.

Rocketman is a must-see for fans of Elton John, and seeing and hearing Taron Egerton’s performance is an absolute treat. Fletcher has knocked this one out of the park and gives us an intimate look inside the lonely and crazy life of the legend.

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