The biopic Rocketman chronicles the story of Sir Elton John, a living legend and one of the world’s foremost musical talents. Like most biopics this one doesn’t stray too far away from its template which is good music, love and triumph over tragedy.
However, director Dexter Fletcher inputs a lot of creative elements unto this take, transforming what is essentially a paint-by-numbers musical tale into a music video fantasy. The result is no doubt refreshing but one can’t help but wonder if it was done intentionally on branching Rocketman into a stage musical at some point.
If they haven’t planned it out already, then they should because the set pieces and musical numbers are already in place.
Rocketman opens with Elton John (Taron Egerton) recounting his encounter with music as a child and his eventual rise to stardom as well as his friendships, loves and struggles with substance abuse. The latter of which is central to the film as his recollection takes place at a rehab centre.
For fans, the story of Elton John is an engaging one but the fantastical set numbers takes away some of that depth to the storylines in a lot of ways. A lot of that impact is softened somewhat by music video set-pieces, which although entertaining, lightens the mood of what is essential a pretty dark and tragic tale.
Ultimately we get a crowd pleasing and ‘mostly’ fun take on the life of Sir Elton, and obvious comparisons will rise between this film and Bohemian Rhapsody, which in our opinion comes off as more well-rounded of the two.
That’s not saying that Rocketman fizzles in anyway, in fact far from it. It is immensely entertaining and it boasts solid performances by Egerton as well as Jamie Bell who portrays long-time collaborator, Bernie Taupin in the film.
Overall though, Rocketman is a pleasant enough watch, and obviously a must-watch for fans of Elton John. It’s got a good story along with music that will get your feet tapping. But it will probably work better as a stage musical as opposed to a cinematic musical biopic.
Popcorn Rating: Fresh Enough